Sunday, July 20, 2014

Luscious Livre

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with RecipesLunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is truly a book for foodies! The recipes alone are worth the journey of Lunch in Paris. Interwoven with the recipes--three or four at each chapter's end--is the story of how Elizabeth Bard became an ex-pat.

The tone attempted in this memoir is Sex-in-the-City meets Three Coins in the Fountain, substitute Paris for Rome.  New Yorker Elizabeth is working in London when she meets Gwendal (Celtic Frenchman, who could resist?). They fall in love and she moves into his tiny, unheated Paris apartment. Culture shock and marriage ensue, whilst Elizabeth wonders what she should "do" with her life. You may or may not end up liking the author, this thirty-something those around her love to take care of, but it’s the recipes that really bring the book to life.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes was the recipient of the 2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best First Cookbook (USA).  So think of it as a cookbook instead of a memoir, with rather long stories before the recipes. There's some depth lacking throughout, but who can blame the author for being lucky and cute? Just concentrate on the food—advice for any uncertain situation, as the author demonstrates.

Chocolate souffl├ęs, ratatouille, asparagus with ham and poached egg. Eggplants galore. Noodle pudding and matzoh ball soup, too. The recipes are so well-written, everyone in the bookclub wants to try at least one. There are descriptions of memorable meals with family and friends, and enough inspiration to make you want to try to recreate them. Have a wonderful time in the kitchen and get ready for book two, Picnic in Provence, due spring 2015.

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