Want another way to enjoy Paris without ever leaving your home? Check out these cookbooks. Cooking and reading about cooking can transport your taste buds across the Atlantic faster than the Concorde. All it takes is inspiration from one of the recipes, a trip to the grocery store and some time in the kitchen.
These cookbooks are fun whether you only read them, or you read them and try the recipes. Take a look if only to familiarize yourself with names of some of the dishes. It will make you feel more comfortable at a restaurant – even if the menu is in English!
Keep the pot bubbling and the bread baking while you take a look at these and keep refining your Paris List!
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle
The classic set of books that essentially brought French classical cooking to America! Drawings, details, suggestions for serving, multi-page recipes, sauces, desserts…. and so much more. Delightful to read and to spend time cooking the recipes. These are for beginners and “well-seasoned” cooks as well. Anytime I think of these books, I can’t help thinking of the Dan Akroyd Saturday Night Live spoof of Julia Child as the French Chef! (click image to order from Amazon)
by Patricia Wells
The cult idol created this go-to, mouthwatering cookbook for every day and special occasions. Easy to read, none are too daunting to prepare, ingredients are generally available and the results are compliment garnering and incredibly satisfying. Patricia Wells’ selection and gentle delivery make this one of my favorite cookbooks for home cooking, French style. Delectable recipes and reading. (click image to order from Amazon)
Simple French Food
by Richard Olney
Meticulous instruction from an obsessive and masterful cook. Most of the recipes are not simple, but the results are incredible. His writing is that of a teacher and the reading is fascinating. (click image to order from Amazon)
Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon
by Patricia Wells
Patricia Wells brings Joel Robuchon’s recipes down to an earthly level. His food is out of this world, and without Patricia Wells’ help, the recipes would probably be unfathomable for home cooks. But, Patricia Wells does it and, if you follow the recipes, you may be surprised how great your food turns out. This book assumes you have skills in the kitchen and is not for beginning cooks. (click image to order from Amazon)
La Cuisine: Secrets of Modern French Cooking
by Raymond Oliver
Raymond Oliver was one of France’s greatest chefs and owner of Le Grand Véfour restaurant in Paris. His writing is incredible – so French! Many basics and French classics are thoroughly explained by him in this huge doorstopper of a book that contains close to 1,500 recipes. Some of the recipes require Herculean effort. All are classic French recipes that are fully realized with technical details and exacting descriptions. I think “Modern” in the title refers to new innovations in making the recipes – at the time this was written. It is not modern for us in the early 21st century. Originally written in French and published in English in 1969. Look at that mug on the back cover! Can you stand it? You have to read it. (click image to order from Amazon)