Mastering the art of French eating

Written by kim cotton on . Posted in all, Uncategorized

mastering the art of French eating book

A delicious book about mastering the art of French eating

When a book sets its scene describing France’s hearty approach to food it’s easy to keep reading.

“In France dining is meant to be a special, pleasurable part of the day; food offers not only fuel for the body but also a connection – between the people who have joined you at the table, between the generations who have shared a recipe, between the terroir (the earth) and the culture and cuisine that have sprung from it …”

Journalist and an American diplomat’s wife, Ann Mah, penned the Mastering the Art of French Eating – Lessons in Food and Love in Paris in response to her husband’s deployment to Iraq. What she thought was going to be a year of romantic dinners and hand-held promenades along the Seine when her husband was originally posted to Paris, quickly turned into a lonely place for one … a bit like being stood up at a restaurant.

However, rather than crying into her soupe l’onion, the passionate foodie drew on the inspiration of former diplomatic wife and author of the famed The Art of French Cooking, Julia Childs, and immersed herself in the love affair France has with food. With the forensic passion of a sleuth reporter, Ann peels back the layers of 10 signature dishes from 10 different regions starting with the national dish Steak Frite in Paris, leading to crepes in Brittany, the pistou of Provence and uncovering the origins of Burgundy’s boeuf bourguignon and its true flavoursome story. 

Did you know families in Brittany had special days for eating crepes? Or that Lyon is considered the world capital of gastronomy because of the ‘Meres Lyonnaises’, the female cooks of the grand bourgeois homes who produced a few meals perfectly before they lost their jobs after World War 1 and opened their own “bouchons” … or that men dress up in special costumes and devote societies to the cassoulet and many other dishes for that matter?

Like the cassoulet, the book is assembled and layered with moorish chunks of information that are basted with sauces of interesting facts and anecdotes, where the regions, like ingredients, are still individual but drawn together through a rich delicious and very personal narrative about Ann’s life, fears and loves. It’s not only a great read, it’s a fab travel companion and food compendium.

“Pork is considered a vegetable that should be eaten with everything,” … local Lyonnaise epicurian Christian Proton.

To go in the draw to win a copy of Mastering the Art of French Eating simply leave a comment below. Or you can buy a copy of the book here at Spirited Mama.

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Comments (25)

  • Chantal

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    ooooohhh la la …. delicious reading … something to sink your teeth into , for love and comfort – food is a must in every type of relationship <3 xx

    Reply

  • Rachel K

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    This sounds like something I would love!! I love rustic entertaining. It’s delicious, affordable and provides for a relaxed atmosphere where people enjoy each others company and hearty food.

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  • Helen Commens

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    After reading ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food’ I became interested in the different style of eating of the French people – their attitude to food, the cuisine, the passion in eating without considering eating as simply replacing fuel. I would love to read this book to make our food and cooking in the outback a little more French inspired!

    Reply

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

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    Hey lovely – sorry we are not able to catch up this time you are up here.. all the best for the markets. I’ll be eagerly watching to see how it goes. I passed on your details to a journo friend…. fingers crossed x

    Reply

    • Kim

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      Tks Ems x

      Reply

  • Lisa Wood

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    Wow – what a strong lady! Being in France without knowing anyone and yet still finds out about the culture {food} – what a great way to discover the new life she is living.
    Love a good read, will have to add this book to my wish list!

    Reply

  • Michelle V

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    I actually collect cook books and display them in our library. I would love to add this one to my collection, so thank you for the opportunity

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  • Chloè

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    Would love to read this, of course for the food, but especially for the men in costume devoting societies to the Cassoulet! How romantic! 🙂

    Reply

  • Cheryl

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    I already own Ann’s book and loved reading every page! I’d be a happy girl to share a copy with a friend!

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  • Bridget

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    I’ve been wanting to read this book–sounds wonderful!

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  • Jo Anne Kindler

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    I love France and love books, would love this!

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  • William

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    This book sounds great! We are trying to learn more about the French way of eating. Thanks.

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  • Carissa Cox

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    Would love to read this!!! It’s written by a friend I haven’t seen in ages!

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  • Lin Powell

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    I would love to win this book and continue my feelings of being in France once more by cooking some wonderful French recipes and reading more stories of French living. Thank you for entering my name in this wonderful draw.

    Reply

  • Mary Lou Unangst

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    I had the great pleasure of meeting Ann when she led a food tour in Paris earlier this year. She is as genuine in person as she is in print. When I asked my local library to stock the book, even the librarian was eager to read it. I recommend it to everyone – foodies and travelers alike.

    Reply

  • Mary Lou Unangst

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    The food tour I mentioned was hosted by La Cuisine Paris. I wish I could attend all their tours

    Reply

  • Shelley

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    Lovely!! Merci 🙂

    Reply

  • Roberta

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    I would like to devour this book. Sounds delish in so many ways!!

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  • Bonnie K.

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    This looks like a beautiful book. I’d love to visit France. I love the food, too.

    Reply

  • Jill

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    Love French Food!! This cook book looks fantastic for French cooking!!? I love Paris and Provence!! would love to win it!!!

    Reply

  • Devra Long

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    I already have a copy and love it so I would love to win and give one as a gift!

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  • Rene Daihl

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    I would love to have this book for my cookbook collection!! I was able to visit Paris and Provence this summer – yay!

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  • Michaela Ballmann

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    I am such a fan of Ann Mah, her book, and French food! I would love to win this book to help others learn about the beauties of French eating.

    Reply

  • Deb Giampa

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    Right now I’m daydreaming on the couch about a hot chocolate from Pâtisserie Viennoise that I discovered on my 1st trip to Paris and what new places to explore might be in Ann’s book…

    Reply

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