A glorious, edible tour of Paris through six decades of writing from Gourmet magazine, edited and introduced by Ruth Reichl
For sixty years the best food writers have been sending dispatches from Paris to Gourmet. Collected here for the first time, their essays create a unique and timeless portrait of the world capital of love and food. When the book begins, just after the war, we are in a hungry city whose chefs struggle to find the eggs and cream they need to re-create the cuisine from before the German occupation. We watch as Paris comes alive again with zinc-topped tables crowded with people drinking café au lait and reveling in crisp baguettes, and the triumphant rebirth of three-star cuisine. In time, nouvelle cuisine is born and sweeps through a newly chic and modern city. It is all here: the old-time bourgeois dinners, the tastemakers of the fashion world, the hero-chefs, and, of course, Paris in all its snobbery and refinement, its inimitable pursuit of the art of fine living. Beautifully written, these dispatches from the past are intimate and immediate, allowing us to watch the month-by-month changes in the world’s most wonderful city. Remembrance of Things Paris is a book for anyone who wants to return to a Paris where a buttery madeleine is waiting around every corner.
Contributors include Louis Diat, Naomi Barry, Joseph Wechsberg, Judith and Evan Jones, Don Dresden, Lillian Langseth-Christensen, Diane Johnson, Michael Lewis, and Jonathan Gold.
Gourmet magazine has been delivering tasty reports on France's restaurants and cuisine to Americans ever since the end of World War II. This anthology collects the magazine's best essays, which document Paris's transformation over the years, and includes descriptions of such momentous events as the demise of the market at Les Halles and the development of nouvelle cuisine. The selection is heavy on Joseph Wechsberg, a frequent contributor during the '70s, and on Naomi Barry, the magazine's first resident correspondent, but it also includes the work of Michael Lewis and Diane Johnson. The book covers everything from chocolate shops to legendary restaurants to instructions on how to make a perfect cassoulet. And it's not just food writing--there are also pieces on haute couture, flower markets and Paris icon Alice B. Toklas, making this is a charming, nostalgic collection for francophiles of all stripes. (On sale Mar. 16)