From Library Journal
Here are two culinary memoirs by American women now living in France. The similarities end there, as one author went to France for the food and stayed for the life that grew up around her, while the other moved to France for its own sake and realized that she'd better learn to cook once she became engaged to a Frenchman. In On Rue Tatin, Loomis, a food writer and an accomplished cook, recalls her initial journey to Paris to attend cooking school. Her apprenticeship at La Varenne cole de Cuisine led to a job as an assistant to food writer Patricia Wells and a lifelong fascination with French cooking and culture. Eventually, in 1994, she and her family permanently settled in a medieval convent on Rue Tatin in the Norman town of Louviers. Interspersed with her lyrical descriptions of daily life in urban and rural France are 50 recipes from a simple frittata to a complex pot au feu culled from both famous chefs and the local fish seller. The author prepares most of the dishes in her own home, and American readers should be able to do the same in a well-equipped kitchen though they may have trouble finding a leg of wild boar at their local supermarket. In French Fried, Rochefort (French Toast) writes about how her obsession with French food became a personal one when her French husband-to-be announced that they could not afford to keep eating in restaurants for the rest of their lives. There are a few recipes, most of them for "basics" such as vinaigrette or homemade mayonnaise. More of a general commentary on life in France as seen through its cuisine (one helpful tip for tourists: don't go into a restaurant and order only a salad or a sandwich because this is something you do in a caf ; restaurants are for meals), French Fried is the book to purchase if your patrons are looking for an informal travel guide. Buy both books if you are able; and if you regularly answer reference questions about the cooking of wild boar, you'll definitely need On Rue Tatin. Wendy Bethel, Southwest P.L., Grove City, OH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Harriet Welty Rochefort grew up in Iowa, but she has lived in France for the last thirty years. In French Fried
, her second volume recounting the vicissitudes of daily life among the French, she brings her well-developed sense of humor to bear on topics such as the French waiter in all his professional hauteur, the Gallic passion for organ meats, and the new culture of the hypermarket. This single-destination source for everything from fine foods to stereos to running shoes has transformed the way many French do their customary daily shopping. Rochefort's recounting of wine-tastings with Alain Ducasse's sommelier puts good wine service in sound perspective. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved