- Full Name Erin French
- Occupation Entrepreneur, Head Chef
- Nationality American
- Birthplace Maine, USA
“Along my path, there were so many people telling me I was wrong and how I should be doing things. Finally, I found the courage to speak up against the naysayers. It’s definitely a process—and not an easy one.”
"Whether it was the first restaurant, it was this restaurant, it was the inside of the Airstream or this, it was always about, 'What can I create?' Because it's in me. Lost Kitchen is me. It's in my heart. It's my core."
Erin French | BiographyFrench receives over 20,000 postcards a year, making it one of the most difficult restaurants to book across the nation
With experience in taking up every job at her father's cafe since her childhood, Erin French came to her hometown after becoming pregnant and eventually landed in the food industry. She soon began organizing secret supper and parties at her apartment. After earning a considerable following for her dishes, Erin French launched The Lost Kitchen, in her hometown, Freedom, Maine, in 2014.
Erin French is an American chef and the owner of The Lost Kitchen, a 40-seat eatery in Maine, USA.
Who Is Erin French?
Erin French is a self-taught culinary expert, author, and television personality. She is the owner and the head chef of The Lost Kitchen restaurant. It is a 40 seat eatery launched in 2014 in an old mill in Freedom, Maine. Time Magazine rated the restaurant as one of the world's greatest places, while Bloomberg named it one of the "12 Restaurants Worth Traveling Around the World to Experience."
Most recently, French appeared in the Discovery+ series named after her critically acclaimed restaurant, The Lost Kitchen. It premiered in January 2021. She has been featured in a 'James Beard Award'-winning short film produced by Tastemade in collaboration with L. L. Bean.
She is also the author of 'The Lost Kitchen Recipes and a Good Life Found in Freedom,' named one of the finest cookbooks by The Washington Post, Vogue.com, and Remodelista. The book was also nominated for the 'James Beard Foundation Award.'
Though Erin French's birthdate was not known clearly, some sources suggest her birth year as 1980. She grew up in Freedom, Maine, a little town with a population of 719 as per the 2010 census. She honed her cooking abilities at her father's café in the town. She even took on various tasks, including dishwashing, waiting tables, and frying pancakes, at the cafe.
"My whole childhood is filled with memories there. I remember the nutmeg-laced donuts, so warm and crunchy—I can still taste it," French said about her father's diner in an interview with People.
Growing up in Freedom, Erin wanted to explore life outside the small-town, so she moved to Boston to study medicine at Northeastern University. However, she dropped out of college after two years, at 21, as she became pregnant unexpectedly by her high school boyfriend and moved back to Maine.
The Story of The Lost Kitchen
After she moved back to Maine, French resumed her career in the food industry, organizing secret suppers in her apartment for a few years. Soon, she built a loyal following and launched The Lost Kitchen, a 40 seat restaurant in an old mill in Freedom, central Maine, in 2014.
In an interview with People about her initial days at the restaurant, French revealed that she used to stand at the stove and stare out the window waiting for the customer. "It was like, 'Oh my God, I would have never gotten to this beautiful point without all of that pain.' I kept telling myself that I had to cry all of these rivers to find one waterfall," she added.
French's new American cooking quickly garnered her as a powerful advocate of local farmers and producers. Her restaurant has an almost entirely female staff and uses only in-season ingredients sourced from her farmer friends.
By 2016, she had been nominated for a 'James Beard Award' and had hosted celebrities such as Martha Stewart. While reservations had gotten out of hand, she came up with the idea of having people send a postcard in exchange for a chance to win a table lottery.
French gets over 20,000 cards a year, making it one of the most difficult restaurants to book across the nation.
Time Magazine rated The Lost Kitchen as one of the world's greatest places, while Bloomberg labeled it one of the "12 Restaurants Worth Traveling Around the World to Experience." She was also featured in publications such as Martha Stewart Living, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Food & Wine, and The New York Times. Her New York Times article was among the top ten most-read food articles of the year.
As of August 2021, French had written three books, namely 'Finding Freedom in the Lost Kitchen,' 'The Lost Kitchen: Recipes and a Good Life Found in Freedom,' both published on 9 May 2017, and 'Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch,' published on 6 April 2021.
'The Lost Kitchen Recipes and a Good Life Found in Freedom,' is a cookbook with 100 recipes from French. It was named one of the finest cookbooks by The Washington Post, Vogue.com, and Remodelista, and was also nominated for the 'James Beard Foundation Award.'
'Finding Freedom' is French's memoir, in which she has shared her life experiences, including gloom and anxiety, struggle as an unemployed single mother, medications that promised release but brought addiction, and about her ex-partner.
'The Lost Kitchen' series
The Lost Kitchen is a series named after Erin French's restaurant of the same name. Magnolia Network's The Lost Kitchen premiered on 3 January 2021 exclusively on Discovery+ and aired six episodes for the first season.
The show chronicles her life as the restaurant owner and head chef. The show also featured how hundreds of travelers worldwide make bookings each year by sending postcards rather than calling or emailing. In addition, the show also focussed on how the restaurant's crew came up with ideas for the pandemic's unforeseen problems.
Besides that, French had also appeared on shows like NPR's All Things Considered, CBS This Morning, The Chew, and The Today Show to share her life story. She was also featured in a 'James Beard Award’-winning short film produced by Tastemade in collaboration with L. L. Bean.