Monday, July 21, 2014

The Sweet Life in Paris - David Lebovitz

The Sweet Life in Paris:
Delicious Adventures in the World's
Most Glorious and Perplexing City
I never get tired of reading about France. Or about food. Better yet, put the two together.

Earlier this year, I read Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence and fell head over heels for the region. Last year, I read Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris, an American in Paris story if there ever was one.

Today, I've returned to the City of Light with David Lebovitz, a popular food blogger and author of a series of cookbooks, most of which focus on desserts. 

I actually had a chance to read and review his latest book, My Paris Kitchen (you may have noticed this post on the Facebook page), so now seemed an appropriate time to pull his memoir off my On Reserve list. 

Lebovitz's memoir came onto my radar with a host of other food memoirs some time last year. This particular book recounts a variety of aspects of French life, along with some wonderful recipes at the end of each chapter (similar to Bard's memoir). Lebovitz moved to France in the early 2000s, leaving behind life and a restaurant job n San Francisco. His successful career as a food blogger and writer has allowed him to take the time to truly immerse himself in the city and culture of Paris.

The chapters are short and sweet, each focusing on some part of life in France. He covers everything from the Parisian penchant for line cutting to French department stores to, of course, food. Lebovitz has a light-hearted tone and no qualms about making fun of himself or his efforts to adjust to French culture. I appreciated his openness about the differences and difficulties of learning a new culture. He does not idealize France as many do, perhaps because he lives there and deals with the highs and lows, but he does make it clear that, for him at least, the pros outweigh the cons. 

Between this book and My Paris Kitchen, which you'll see a review for on Wednesday, I am dying to try out French cooking in my kitchen. I'm eager to experiment with some new ingredients. Lebovitz graciously provides a sources list in the back of his book to help Americans find some of those hard-to-locate items. We'll see how many visits to specialty shops I can make before Kevin realizes the cost of French cuisine on our budget and our waistlines. 

If you love food, France, or simply stories of fish out of water, then you'll enjoy this book. It proves itself to be exactly as advertised. There are fun stories (Kevin kept asking me why I was laughing at a food book) and plenty of cultural confusion to go around. But, Lebovitz really is offering a taste of a sweet life. All I have left to do is book my tickets...

Pages: 282
Date Completed: June 23, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment