Five years ago today, I posted my very first French Fridays with Dorie recipe. Every Friday after that from October 2010 to nearly the end of June 2015, I faithfully posted a recipe I’d made from the book (not missing one single week!) along with my friends over on French Fridays with Dorie. It’s the book I recommend to anyone who asks me for a “reliable, not too complicated French cookbook.” It’s responsible for us eating well over the past five years and it’s the reason I no longer fear making pastry! Want your own copy? Buy Around My French Table for yourselves on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository***
Read ALL my French Fridays with Dorie posts here.
Since we finished working through the book in June, I’ve kept up with my own version of French Fridays (sans Dorie), covering a wide range of topics from French recipes to life in France. This week I thought I would recap some of my favourite books focussed on Paris – recipes and stories. Please note this is a non-exhaustive list – I mean, really I could go on and on and on. Maybe this will have to be a recurring series….
My Paris Kitchen (David Lebovitz)
You might know David from his fabulous, informative site. Or maybe his books. Or maybe you rely on him for Paris restaurant recommendations. David has been one of my favourite reads for many years now so I couldn’t wait to check out My Paris Kitchen when it came out last year. This collection of over 100 sweet and savoury recipes is not a typical “French food cookbook” though. The food David cooks and eats is influenced by where he has lived and where he lives now. He’s guided in his cooking by the influence of other cultures reflected in Paris’ many multicultural neighbourhoods and food stores. So the food he cooks might not be what you’d think of as typically French (although it is how many French people eat these days) but it will make you want to get in your (likely much larger than David’s Paris) kitchen and cook! If you are the type of person who keeps cookbooks alongside fiction on your nightstand, then this is absolutely the book for you. It’s as much about the stories that go with the recipes as the recipes themselves. Read my complete review here.
Paris, my Sweet (Amy Thomas)
If you’re a Paris-lover like me, you might be familiar with the author of this book, Amy Thomas (also the author of the most excellently-named blog God, I love Paris). In this book, Amy writes about life in the City of Light, where she worked writing copy for Louis Vuitton for two years, her love for the city and also the many frustrations that come along with living there. Both blog and book are a love letter to Paris, but a realistic one that I totally identify with. So many times when I was living there and found myself on the phone to my mum and dad, frustrated by the French bureaucracy and complaining about it, one of them would ask me why I stayed. I could never quite put my finger on it – Paris is easy to fall in love for so many reasons. If you love Paris, this is a must-read.
The Paris Journal (Evan and Nichole Robertson)
A truly unique look at Paris (a fictional diary of a day in Paris combined with over 140 gorgeous photographs) through the eyes of a real enthusiast. Featuring the Ile St Louis and the Ile de la Cité, it really highlights that you don’t necessarily have to “do” anything to experience a city. Reading this cannot fail to give you ideas for your next trip to Paris. Both the photographs and the words are evocative – putting you in the shoes of an anonymous traveler and making a strong case for “wandering” being THE best way to experience Paris. Read my complete review here.
Paris Express (Laura Calder)
A lot of people consider French food as something best saved for a “special” occasion, believing it’s time-consuming, therefore, it’s not cuisine for everyday. Paris Express is out to show people that French food can be accessible – even on weeknights! It’s a book full of quick-to-prepare, modern French recipes and, while it’s not “remotely trying to be the next 15-minute cookbook” (so not every recipe takes 30 minutes or less as the “Express” part of the title might make you think), these are recipes that will help you bring a little piece of the City of Light to your table everyday, not just for “special” dinners. I mean, you can’t go wrong with a cookbook that includes a recipe for that classic French “fast food” meal – the Rotisserie Chicken Dinner – can you? With around 120 recipes (and some sample menus), the book is about getting Paris onto your table in less time than you’d expect. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to create “simple, spontaneous Parisian-style feasts”. Read my complete review here.
Paris Letters (Janice MacLeod)
Exhausted and on the verge of corporate burnout, Janice MacLeod asked herself this question as she doodled on a notepad at her desk one day. With a little math and a lot of determination, she came up with 100 ways to spend less money every day (you’d be surprised at how small changes can add up to big savings!) and, through living simply, she saved enough to quit her job and spend two years abroad. A few days into her stop in Paris, Janice meets Christophe, the cute butcher down the street – who doesn’t speak English – and the rest, as they say, is history… Janice figures out a way to make her “happily-ever-after in Paris” last forever. Read my full review here.
Teatime in Paris (Jill Colonna)
So much more than a cookbook filled with recipes for delicious teatime treats, Jill also takes us on a treasure hunt all over Paris – providing clues to some of the city’s best pâtisseries. Jill’s Favourite Sweet Walks in Paris provides the Paris-bound traveller with a sweet tooth endless hours of walks taking in some of the most well-known pastries and desserts in Paris. No stores are named by name but Jill guides us via street names and monuments to exactly where we need to go to satisfy our sweet tooth in the City of Light. With 11 areas of the city covered in this chapter you could seriously travel to Paris with no other guidebook and be entertained (and well-fed!) for many days! Read my complete review here.
Disclosure: I received copies of many of these books for review purposes. I did not receive any further compensation for writing about them and opinions are, as always, 100% my own.
*** Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!