I recently received the beautiful Cookbook; My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. This hefty book was my cooking ticket back to Paris which I was fortunate to have traveled to and spent a month back in the late eighties. Of all the memories I collected during my one month travel through the Southern part of France, one of the strongest memories was of the aromas of the many restaurant kitchens and cafe`s.
In Paris, one is not quite sure what to go for first, the bread, the cheese, the wine or the chocolate! In David’s book, you get a little of everything! Part Cookbook part storybook, he reminds you how and why you fell in love with Paris in the first place. For those of you who may have never traveled to France, by the end of this book, you will be booking your ticket!
I appreciate Cookbooks who don’t simply compile recipes and walk away. The first section of this book is dedicated to Ingredients. Sometimes overlooked, the quality and type of ingredients are the cornerstone of your dish’s success. Here the basics are explained. Where you can find them in Paris as well as likely to find them in your town. The next section is focused on the Tools you will to transform into the Chef inside us all.
This book offers suggestions for Appetizers, First Courses, Main Courses and of course Desserts. I especially respect Lebovitz’s inclusion of mixing cultures; for example including a recipe for Indian Cheese Bread with a French flair. So many other food cultures are represented in French cooking from Cous Cous to Pasta. Nice to know ingredients can be mixed making your ethnic cuisine truly your own.
If I were to offer two small criticisms of the book, the first would be that not every recipe has a photo. I am a visual cook! For example in Chicken Pot Parmentier, I need the picture to guide and entice me, especially on a dish I have never prepared or eaten. Secondly, I feel the book could have been made even better had it been printed on a quality glossy paper. Although the photos are enticing, a matte finish doesn’t make the images pop like glossy does (just my opinion!).
Believe me, neither of these two shortcomings should discourage you from adding this book to your collection. In truth, will I be creating all of the dishes in this book, probably not. But, I will indeed venture to prepare about 1/2 of them. The others will serve me as inspiration for my cooking future!
A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David’s Parisian kitchen. It’s been ten years since David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks, a well-worn cast-iron skillet, and his laptop and moved to Paris. In that time, the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniques from around the world into traditional French dishes.
In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake…and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.
David Lebovitz is a sought-after cooking instructor with an award-winning food blog (davidlebovitz.com). Trained as a pastry chef in France and Belgium, David worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California for twelve years. He now lives in Paris, France, where he leads culinary tours of the city.
“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”