I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.
The first thing you notice about My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz is it's size. It resembles a textbook more than a cookbook. It's certainly the size of one. It's clear the reader is about to get schooled on French cooking and French cuisine. But far from being intimidating, David's unpretentious writing immediately puts the reader at ease. Especially when he devotes an entire page to cooking au-pif (by the nose) or cooking by instinct and not being afraid to deviate from a recipe and not to "over think the enjoyable process of baking a chocolate cake"
For thirteen years David Lebovitz was a professional chef at San Francisco's Chez Panisse and part of the farm-to-table movement. Using what he learned and experienced from over a decade of living in Paris, David has created this essential cook book. My Paris Kitchen contains recipes for classic French dishes as well as new recipes that show how French cooking is changing with new global influences.
More than a recipe book, My Paris Kitchen contains beautiful images of Paris, descriptions of essential kitchen equipment, as well as descriptions of ingredients. The entire book is also peppered with interesting and amusing anecdotes relating to living and eating in Paris. It's clear that this is man in love with Paris and French food.
I recently got to spend three days in Paris and the food was wonderful. I wanted to recreate some of those meals at home, but french cooking has always seemed intimating to me. I can't wait to use this book to help me create the croque-monsieur (fried ham and cheese sandwich), carbonnades flamandes (beef stew), and buckwheat crepes with ham and cheese, all of which I enjoyed in Paris and told myself I would to try make at home. With this book, now I can.