Finding Freedom is the upcoming memoir by chef and entrepreneur, Erin French. Though Erin is the owner and head chef of the well-praised restaurant The Lost Kitchen, her journey to success was anything but easy.
Erin’s memoir highlights her life and her upbringing in restaurants from as early as age five. Being that her father owned a diner, Erin quickly became familiar with the food industry herself. She started working at her father’s restaurant at age twelve and learned all the basic kitchen skills. Though her passion for cooking didn’t come until later, Erin’s early experiences in her dad’s diner shaped her as a cook.
“When you grow up in a restaurant, it’s inevitable that bits of it will rub off on you. It’s an intangible something that seeps its way into you until it sears itself in your belly, then your heart, as it did to both my sister and me, whether we wanted it or not. There is romance, there’s magic, there’s love. The ability to touch a complete stranger with a plate of food, to feed them and awaken their senses while filling them up with joy— it’s an intimacy that you can’t help craving.”
By her early twenties, Erin wanted nothing more than to escape her hometown, Freedom, Maine. She got this wish when she was accepted into a college in Boston. But, her plans were soon derailed by an unexpected pregnancy at age twenty-one. With only two years of college under her belt, her growing belly, and an absent partner, Erin was forced to face reality and her parents in Freedom, Maine.
After the birth of her son, Jaim, Erin was overjoyed. But, mixed with her joy was fear, sadness, and uncertainty. She now had to start over and she wasn’t sure where she would begin. It wasn’t long before she met her ex-husband, Tom. At first things with Tom were great, but she soon found herself not only battling depression but stuck in an unhappy and abusive marriage.
While circumstances in Erin’s life made her want to give up, her desire to create a better live for her and her son pushed her forward. By age thirty, she was eager to get her life back on track. But, like most of us, she wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. She just knew she needed to be doing more than what she was doing.
“When I stopped to look back on my life and add it all up, I couldn’t help questioning my value. My heart was burning for more in a way I couldn’t deny, but, at the same time, couldn’t yet identify.”
After reflecting on her life, Erin decided that she wanted to open her own restaurant. Though she knew this was a big idea, Erin didn’t let that stop her. She soon bought the property of her dreams and established The Lost Kitchen. But, as her marriage to Tom got worse, her mental health, her custody of her son, and her restaurant were all put at stake.
Finding Freedom is the story of a strong resilient woman who picked herself up and rebuilt her life from scratch. Erin’s story is proof that circumstances in life don’t matter. You get to decide whether they make or break you. Much like a recipe, if you don’t like how your life is turning out, it’s up to you to tweak the ingredients.
Finding Freedom by Erin French is available for purchase on Amazon and other bookstores on April 6th, 2021.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celadon Books to review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.*