A Review of The Boy Who Wanted to Cook
Between These Pages (Nov 2012)
Pierre longs to be a chef. His parents own a restaurant, but he lives and breathes food. As he travels through the countryside, he notices how many foods come from local supplies. One day a visitor asks directions to his parents restaurant. Pierre has noticed that the man is an inspector, come to see if the restaurant is worthy of earning a coveted star, but he is too honorable to reveal this to his parents. Instead he helps his family collect the ingredients for the dinner. It is during this all-important meal that Pierre gets his chance. While his father attends to the guests up front, there is no one but Pierre to watch the meal. Will his innovations destroy his parents hopes or will they be the secret to success?
The Boy Who Wanted to Cook is peppered with French words and phrases. Most are easily deciphered from context, but there is a glossary and pronunciation guide at the back for those who might struggle with them. It really captures the feeling of a French country restaurant and the importance of fresh ingredients. I also appreciated the message of making the honorable choice and earning your accolades rather than just expecting them. Definitely a good choice for budding francophiles.