food · Nonfiction · review

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz

18209508Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Ten Speed Press
Source: Publisher

Synopsis:
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.

Review:

Anyone who knows me will be shocked to see me with a cook book. I’m not exactly known for my cooking prowess but not being able to cook does not at all hamper my love for food. Even though I only eat halal, and dishes with bacon and pork etc. don’t do anything for me, I can still substitute for another or just look at another recipe. I also read somewhere that watching people eat is the same as eating yourself – that is, the brain releases the same chemicals it would when the person eats as when the person watches someone else eat. No wonder Food TV is so popular.

That said, David Lebovitz’s The Paris Kitchen is not just a compendium of scrumptious sounding recipes but also a rather intimate look into Lebovitz’s life as he writes about not just the food but the people and places in Paris that he came across a particular dish or ingredient. The volume offers an amazing window into Parisian food culture and shows how food is not just something eaten to fill oneself but irrevocably interwoven in peoples’ lives and cultures. The many photographs in the volume help to visualize the dishes and create keen appetites.

I also like that the cookbook is not aimed at any particular gender or age group. The book is for anyone who appreciates the fine art of cooking and eating. I recommend it heartily to aficionados of food, Paris and French culture.

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