Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

I am going to include my both blogs in this weeks weekend cooking :) I will share a book review here and a recipe from the book at my other blog She Likes Bento.

Title: Lunch in Paris
Author: Elizabeth Bard
Genre: Non-Fiction
Subject: French Culture, Food, Romance
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release date: February 2011 (first published 2010)
Length: 352 pages
I got this book: Borrowed it from the library

From Goodreads:
"Can an American and a Frenchman live happily ever after in Paris? In her charming memoir, Bard, a New Yorker with a penchant for good food and fine culture, tells a tale of romance, punctuated by mouthwatering recipes that evoke the very soul of the City of Light.

Elizabeth and Gwendal's courtship (yes, that's his real name) unfolds over visits to the local fish market, repasts of traditional andouillettes and savory cakes made with bacon, chervil, and figs. Their liaison is not without complications in cultural expectations and linguistic limitations but culture shock is always softened by a satisfying meal. In Paris, the pleasures of five-hour lunches clash with American standards of success, leading Elizabeth to question both sets of values. Her poignant homesickness is expressed in comforting recipes like My Mother's Noodle Pudding, and Grandma Elsie's Spaghetti Sauce, but over time, Elizabeth warms to her adopted city, as evidenced by her mastery of a summery ratatouille and a whole fish baked in sea salt (note to chef: have a hammer and ice pick at the ready).

While Elizabeth explores Paris's ancient cobblestone streets, inimitable boutiques, and museums, she envisions a place where people take career risks and have time for personal pleasures, where one can get a buttery croissant and a perfect bagel. As she learns, such a place doesn't exist, but her journey of discovery couldn't be more appetizing and enjoyable."

Personal opinion:
This is a non-fiction book but it really reads like chick-lit. It is not a genre I pick up often, because I am not all that much into it. But I love to discover new cultures and cuisines, so I decided to read this book anyway. Each chapter ends with some recipes and I found that a welcome addition to the story. I really liked how Elizabeth described her life in Paris and manages to tie almost everything to food. This made it a very interesting read for me. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in France cuisine or culture and is looking for a quick entertaining read. It won't disappoint.

I liked it!

Purchase links: Amazon
Other reviews: A foodie bibliophile in wanderlust
If you have reviewed this book and want your link here, please leave a comment with the link, and I will add it :)

I have made a wintery cauliflower soup from this book. You can find the recipe on She Likes Bento.
Don't forget to check out the other participants of weekend cooking! It features great recipes, foodie book reviews and other related topics.


  1. Sounds like a good read for someone like me who has never been to France :)

  2. Oh I'm glad to see this review. I have a copy of the book and avoided it because I was sure it was going to be too much like chick-lit for me. Now I think I'll give it a try. Thanks!

  3. This really sounds like a great book! I love Paris and French food... and romance novels too ^^

  4. I reviewed this book over the summer and really enjoyed it. Here is my link:

  5. I guess I'm the minority. I picked this book up because of the gorgeous cover, but didn't care for the story. I just didn't connect with Elizabeth - she struck me as stand-offish and snotty. But I'm glad you enjoyed this one. That's what makes book blogging so fun - the varied viewpoints.

  6. Oh, I really want to read this. Thanks for posting this one on Weekend Cooking, too, since I'm not a cauliflower fan. :<)

  7. I have a copy of this book although I haven't started it yet. Sounds like I need to get going on it.

  8. I am moderately obsessed with Paris (difficult from Australia), and am a great sucker for the I moved my life to Paris genre. For some reason even though this book was quite successful here, I was never that intrigued. I'm sure I would like it, whilst being insanely jealous that it appears everyone else in the world seems to be able to move to Paris and then write a book about it.

  9. I'm with you on chick lit, not my favorite genre. But I do love a good foodie tale, even better if there are recipes!
    I might have to give this one a look!