Cooking School Confidential! Tasty Travels With “The Saucier’s Apprentice”!

Time To Head To Europe To Cook With The Pros!

PAtricia Wells Provence cooking class

Alex and I had the chance to cook at a terrific cooking school in the south of France, and I have posted about that great adventure before…perhaps that is why I was so intrigued by a book I found, which documented one Writer’s effort to change his life by cooking his way through Europe!

The Saucier's Apprentice

The Saucier’s Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe!

This is the perfect storm of a memoir: a great travel guide, a funny cooking adventure, and a mid-life crisis all in one book!

bob spitz cooking

Author Bob Spitz was going through a mid-life crisis, so he decided to get away and embark on a foodie trip to Europe with one goal: to learn to cook like a pro!

cooking book

Here is why I loved the book: Spitz is open and honest with his personal life: he spent eight years researching and writing a book on The Beatles, and his marriage failed during that time.

great cooking memoirs

The Author arranges to cook at several private cooking schools, like one in the south of France near Cannes:

Cannes France

Spitz also is allowed into the kitchen of the 3-star restaurant L’Arpege in Paris – where he meets legendary Chef Alain Passard – to hilarious results:

Alain Passard L'Arpege

He also attends private cooking school in France, and end up in Italy – and in the kitchen of a small local restaurant that helps him understand the true meaning of food:

Locanda Senio, Tuscany

Throughout, Spitz is honest – and acerbic – about the Chefs who are teaching him, the other students who are cooking alongside him, and the people in his life who have left him…and of course, he cooks and cooks and cooks…

best restaurant recipes

I found the book to be very entertaining, funny, and full of great recipes…but the book was very polarizing as well – many Amazon reviews were fairly devastating – here is one:

“This book was so full of misinformation that it was a struggle to read. It was unreal to see the mistakes. Restaurants spelled incorrectly, villages set in the wrong geograhic locale, horrific descriptions of people. One cannot believe the arrogance of this author.”


The negative reviews focused on his honest opinion about the people he meets on his food journey – but I thought it was very well written and funny, and he is as tough on himself as anyone else in the book:


There were also many positive reviews on Amazon as well, like this one:

“I just loved this book. It was so reminiscent of some of the cooking schools, classes and experiences that my friends and I have encountered. Spitz’s take was so “right-on” that I was swept away with his descriptions and could, almost, smell and taste his creations. We four ladies have traveled the “Circuit” and though we didn’t visit the exact schools and or restaurants Spitz did, we were parrallel to most of them.”

Author Bob Spitz

So you can see, many people agree with me: this is a great book for foodies, as well as travel fans! And here is the book Spitz wrote about The Beatles:

Beatles Biografie

His “Beatles” book got great review and is a great addition to the canon of material about the world’s greatest band of all time….


More Food!

And Spitz isn’t the only Author to take on the subject of food: here is another one of the best books about food ever written:

Heat Book

The Heat’s On!

Author Bill Buford used his friendship with Chef Mario Batali to take on a great food odyssey: read all about it here:

And I had the chance to cook in Europe as well!

Patricia Wells and Julia Childs Stove

My Cooking Adventure With Patricia Wells!

Yes, that’s my wife Alex and I standing alongside Patricia Wells, in front of the stove that Julia Childs gave to her!

You can read about our delicious provincial cooking adventure by clicking here:

Check out all of my food posts – and let me know what you think!

Patricia Wells cooking classes

Categories: Books / Media, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, Food Review, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, Wacky Food, wine

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2 replies

  1. WOW can you imagine seeing Europe that way! Incredible experience. Review wise you can’t please everyone.

  2. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Some tasty weekend reading – for anyone interested in learning to cook from the Masters…

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