When journalist Ann Mah's husband is given a diplomatic assignment in Paris, Mah, a lifelong foodie and Francophile, begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a yearlong post - alone - turning Mah's vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light upside down.
So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Mah must find a life for herself in a new city. Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Mah combats her loneliness by seeking out the iptome of French comfort food - cassoulet - and learning how the andouillette sausage is really made. She discovers the true stories behind the country's signature regional dishes, exploring the history and taste of everything from boeuf bourguignon to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life's truths.
Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Mah meets - from chefs to farmers to restaurateurs - and the traditional recipes she samples. Reading it will send you straight to the kitchen, or Paris - or both. Funny, intelligent, and deeply pleasurable, this is a story about love - of food, family, and France.
Advance praise for Mastering the Art of French Eating
'From the peaks of the French Alps to Brittany's buckwheat fields, Lyon's bouchons to Burgundy's wineries, Mah takes us all over France in pursuit of its culinary traditions. But at the heart of her story is Paris - and all the love, wistfulness, and deliciousness found there.' Amy Thomas, author of Paris, My Sweet
'Ann Mah dishes up a welcoming concoction, a good dose of French history, a personal, vibrant, enthusiastic picture of life in a country she adores. I am hungry already!' Patricia Wells, author of The Food Lover's Guide to Paris and Simply Truffles
'Whether you're French or Francophile, a longtime connoisseur of French food or someone who's just figuring out the difference between frites and frangipane, feasting through France with Ann Mah is a delicious adventure.' Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table ; owner of Beurr & Sel
'In a tour de force through French cuisine, Ann Mah crisscrossed France, learning about all my favorite foods. Her personal culinary tale will have you packing your bags.' David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris
'Ann Mah goes straight to the essential in this lively, mouthwatering book as she explores the foundations of French cuisine. Bravo!' Susan Herrmann Loomis, author of On Rue Tatin
'Ann Mah give us a peek into French kitchens that foodies will envy and no Francophile could resist.' Elizabeth Bard, author of Lunch in Paris
'Excellent ingredients, carefully prepared and very elegantly served. A really tasty book.' Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence