Only 15 American restaurants have three Michelin stars and French-born, American-trained Dominique Crenn runs one of them.
Raised in France, Crenn chose not to train there. “The reality of living in France, where tradition is revered to the point of intransigence, is that doing things differently is rarely an option,” and Crenn was definitely going to do things differently. She would tell legendary chef Jeremiah Tower that “I’m French so I already know how to cook,” without a day’s experience working in a restaurant—and get hired.
From that moment onward, starting on the line at Stars and past the opening of Atelier Crenn, past the moment when it earned its third star in 2018, Crenn continued to do things differently. She ran a restaurant in Jakarta with an all-woman kitchen crew, and oversaw a Los Angeles country club kitchen. Injured in a freak accident at home, she would almost die but go on to start earning Michelin stars.
There is, of course, more to the wild swings of Crenn’s life. She chronicles it all here crisply and vividly with frankness and, refreshingly, much less of the grandstanding that often comes with a memoir written in the middle of an impressive career.
Paperback. B-&-W photos throughout.