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on April 8, 2014
What a thoroughly delightful book to read. The book is divided into four sections. The first three sections are: Introduction (worth reading on its own for this history of Lebovitz's background and move to Paris), Ingredients (where he provides a thorough discussion of what he considers the major food items most kitchens should possess - and how to buy the best examples of each food!), and Equipment (outlining most of the standard items one would expect to find in a kitchen, along with a few things I had not considered - such as a mortar and pestle).

The rest of the book contains 100 recipes divided by type: Appetizers, First Courses, Main Courses, Sides, Desserts, and Pantry. Amid the recipes the reader will find one-page interjections where the author discusses a few of his kitchen ideas. In the Appetizer section (for example) there is a page titled "Man versus Machine" where the author does a comparison of his Cuisinart with the mortar and pestle. While he prefers the Cuisinart for most jobs, using the mortar and pestle yields chunky (read "better") guacamole and pistou. This is an example of how this books serves more than just a cookbook filed with recipes.

When I was a college student I managed to live in Paris for 2 years, studying classical piano at L'Ecole Normale de Musique Cortot in the 17th arrondissement. I am envious of David Lebovitz for finding a way to maintain a life in Paris, something which in addition to his cooking skills is quite commendable.

I enjoyed reading the entire book. I don't often keep copies of books I've read since I rarely re-read one. However, this book is definitely one which will remain on my kitchen bookshelf since it's such a brilliant guide to some wonderful French recipes which will satisfy even the most sophisticated and refined taste buds.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for making this book available for review.
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on April 8, 2014
I have relied on David's blog for recipes and restaurant recommendations. I have owned a series of his cookbooks, mostly the dessert ones. This book is his magnum opus. it is warm, comforting, and full of soul. And extremely delicious details as to how to simply make stunning food. I don't write many reviews. But I simply had to say something about this. It's extraordinary.
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on May 12, 2014
Don't miss out on this fabulous cookbook by David Lebovitz, his writing is terrific as he shares his stories and experiences as an ex-pat in Paris & it has some great photography too making it a great gift for the cook on your list!
I made the quiche on p. 155 exactly as described and it is truly delicious! The crust came out light and flaky complementing the rich quiche ingredients. Because it is so rich and filling we froze a portion of it to eat later since it's just the two of us and there's more than enough for 6 to 8 people if you are serving it with a salad & some wine! 'Can't wait to make more of the recipes and the desserts!
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VINE VOICEon April 15, 2014
This is my new favorite cookbook. I can't put it down and I keep making things from it. The herbed pasta is fantastic -- it uses the perfect proportion of wet to flour, and I like the unbleached flour/semolina combination. It's simple, but that's the point of most of these recipes: simple but creative is easy to achieve and delicious. The coq au vin received raves in my house. As did the carrot cake. And the baba ganoush! I've tried many techniques before, and his is the absolute best for making it at home.

The book itself is beautiful. That's not a requirement for a great cookbook, but it's a nice bonus. It has a cool layout and pictures -- and I love the matte finish paper (for lack of the correct term). It makes the photos unusually gorgeous, and different from most cookbooks with glossy pages.

What's also great is that he gives weights in addition to measures. Cookbooks that do so are much better than those that do not. I'm amazed editors don't insist on it more. Giving weights means the recipe is both easier to make and more likely to turn out correctly.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 4, 2015
Like another reviewer, I bought this book because I enjoyed David's "Sweet Life" so much. However, I have read this book from cover to cover, and find it to be a disappointment.

Some of the content seems like "filler" to me, like the "Equipment" section, especially when he mentions that you probably already have most of what he suggests having in your kitchen. Folks buying cookbooks like this already know what sort and how many skillets, knives, pots, pans and other kitchen tools they need. This is pretty much needless information for the average home cook, and even more so to those who've ventured into French cuisine, but it uses up six pages of the book.

The other part I consider filler is the "pantry" section. It's also weird. He describes the section as "an assortment of things which are part of my pantry and I like to keep on hand in the refrigerator or freezer," and it includes hard-cooked eggs, poached eggs and whipped cream. Poached eggs and whipped cream are not pantry items - they can be made ahead and held briefly, but they're not kept "on hand" in the refrigerator. Both eggs and cream appear in his "ingredient" section, but once the eggs are cooked and the cream is whipped, they re-appear in the "pantry" section where boiling and whipping is explained in detail. And why is vinaigrette listed as a pantry item when he says that, like the French, he never makes it in quantities to keep on hand? Same thing for homemade mayonnaise that keeps for only a 2-3 days in the fridge. Store-bought mayonnaise can be kept "on hand" in the fridge, but homemade mayonnaise is not a pantry item. It's contradictory, and all the how-to stuff might be useful information for a novice cook, but I wasn't expecting this book to be a basic cooking primer like "The Joy of Cooking." This strange section uses up 13 pages of the book, with an entire page devoted to a recipe (yes, a recipe) and instructions for making whipped cream, and another page on how to boil eggs.

I purchased this book as a gift for my daughter who, like me, adores French food and is experienced at cooking it. And while I understand that globalization has influenced modern French cuisine, not all the recipes in this book are a reflection of that. Many of the recipes are NOT what modern Parisians eat - the author says so himself - "Parisians haven't developed a taste for smoky food" - but because he likes smoky food he includes a recipe for smoky pulled pork. What?

When I discovered that "My Paris Kitchen" included recipes for dukkah, tabbouleh, naan, humus, beet hummus, fattoush, shakshuka, baba ganoush, Israeli couscous and smoky barbecue-style pork, I decided it wasn't French enough for the gift it was intended to be. Don't get me wrong, I've made several of the recipes, and they were all good, and his stories are delightful, but the recipe collection is not what I'd expect from this book's title, nor from one selling on Amazon as a French cookbook. So I've found a spot for it on my bookshelf where I can refer to it whenever I'm looking for a Middle Eastern/North African recipe, or Texas ribs, or California-style French crepes (?), or Italian crostini.

🌀 It's worth noting that many of the favorable reviews here are from folks who were given a free copy of this book by the publisher or by a book blog "in exchange for a review." You might think nothing of this scheme, but to me they're shill reviews, and an illusory way to skew the star rating. Search among the customer reviews for the word "review" and you can see all these compulsory reviews for yourself - notice they are missing the "verified purchase" indication, and the lion's share are rated 4 or 5 stars. The current "most helpful" review of this cookbook was submitted by a person who seems to be a hired book reviewer. Follow the link to see all his reviews, and you'll see that he only reviews books - nothing else - all provided to him for free in exchange for a review, and none below a 4-star rating. In fairness to this book/author, this is done a lot on Amazon, but it's still not right. Some of these type reviews might be honest, but one thing for sure - they're all obligatory.
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on June 2, 2014
Because I so loved his "Sweet Life" I bought this book, based solely on my complete and utter enjoyment of that book. This is a beautiful book without a doubt, but the thing I found sadly lacking was the thoroughly delightful and quirky humor of his accounts and anecdotes in the first. I remember reading the first book and wanting to get on the first flight to Paris, forgetting everyone and everything with a Madeline pan in hand and just my naive enthusiam.... Those hilarious stories of his experiences, and cultural clashes of being an American in the City of Light were just so much wonderful escapism I longed that the book might not end.
This book is more recipe based and his storytelling is of course, more mature and established, (as it should be)...but the enchantment of the element of the new expatriate reveling and blundering in his new environment is no more. The recipes I find, are also not French, per se, but reflect the more cosmopolitan influence I am sure Paris is experiencing in this age. I, however, long for the real, historic Parisian experience in cooking, so the recipe choices also do not suit my expectations for the book. If I wanted International cooking influences I could get cookbooks that reflect those Countries' recipes. I expected French recipes so here I am also disappointed.
Overall it is a nice book-- I display it prominently on my coffee table, but it's not up to what I had hoped for. I still love Lebovitz and hope he reads this review and releases his third book more true to the form that made me a fan...
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on February 3, 2016
I bought this book based on my love for David Lebovitz's blog. I'm a novice cook who didn't step into the kitchen until I was 30 and really wanted a healthier box, can, and (mostly) microwave free diet. The thing that most attracted me towards Lebovitz's writing is that he has the heart of a teacher and that comes through in the way he writes. I do occasionally have to google the method to do something since my kitchen skills are pretty low but typically google directs me right back to Lebovitz's blog!

I've made a solid number of sides and main recipes out of this book (haven't touched the desert section yet) and they have been incredible hits at the dinner table. My squash hating husband ate the squash soup. My veggie hating friend came over for a salad.

Just be warned - if you're looking for five minute dinners or quick food this is not the book for you. Most of the dishes in this book do not come together quickly. Cooking from this book (and his blog) have taught me to enjoy the process of cooking and yes, even grocery shopping! Thanks to his inspiration I've sought out my local farmers market and am getting to know my local food producing community.
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on November 12, 2014
I've got to start by saying that My Paris Kitchen has a long list of great qualities, from it's masterfully simple instructions to it's gorgeous glossy photography. The little stories which bulk up the book are written with magic and humour, so that My Paris Kitchen reads almost like a fairy tale. Having received my copy the day before an international flight, I took it on the plane with me, and lost myself it Lebovitz's France. The dishes themselves, lovingly prepared and photographed for the reader, looked achingly good.

The book will always have a place on my shelf, but maybe not the shelf in my kitchen. The reason for this is that, quite simply, that none of my family members have actually liked the food! The kids, who happily down everything from salad to sushi, mac and cheese to Moroccan lamb, cupcakes to cauliflower, didn't like Lebovitz's mustard chicken, or his quiche. They carved through the Broccoli I served last night, but couldn't get passed the first rib of the author's recipe for caramel ribs. Ribs! What kids don't like ribs? To add insult to injury, it turns out mine DO eat ribs; they've declared that both Grandma's and Aunt Karen's are to die for, but these ones... not so much. Having burned my finger making these ones (Not that THAT is Lebovitz's fault), and having wasted a couple hours of my life to make them, I'm sufficiently annoyed enough to come on here and do my first ever Amazon review. The bottom line; GREAT book, mediocre cookbook.

I'm clearly an island here, so if you've got cash to burn, buy it and see for yourself. Your kids may love it! Mine, however, and my (tactful! but honest) partner, have put My Paris Kitchen out to pasture.
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on February 17, 2015
If I could give this book more stars I'd do it. David's writing is captivating. This is the first cook book I've actually read. It helps that this is my form of cooking. It's my gig. I took some food service courses back around 1991 after I graduated from college, so I'm not a rookie by any means.

I got this book last Friday. I spent a few hours with it on Saturday and on Sunday I entertained with the multigrain bread and the Coq Au Vin. I followed the recipe for the Coq Au Vin to a T, although I don't use measuring devices. I used the best quality ingredients I could find and spent about $14 on a bottle of Cote du Rhone. Wow, this meal was just amazing. The bread was cooked in a 7 1/4 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven. It looked exactly like the picture in the book.

On to Monday. We had the day off and I decided I'd make the Coq Monsieur. I still cannot describe how delicious this sandwich was. It was so far beyond any sandwich I've ever tasted. The béchamel lends itself so well to the compte or gruyere. I am not kidding when I tell you to make this sandwich with the best ingredients possible and surrender yourself to your doctor the next morning. If you're ever going to die eating a sandwich, this will be that time.

Third night in a row, it's now Tuesday. I made the ribeye steak with the mustard butter and frites. For the steak, I chose the cilantro, hickory salt and chipotle powder. I seasoned the steaks (very thin small ribeyes I like to use) and let rest in the fridge for over an hour while the frites soaked. I used fresh thyme for the frites. Wow!!! The frites were golden and crispy That mustard butter made this perfectly seasoned cut of beef sing. The best ever. Wow!!!! Just wow. Flavor explosion.

The recipes in this book are so nicely balanced.
I love everything about this book. My wife and I have a flat rented in the 8th for September of 2015 and we will be cooking some of David's recipes while were there. Maybe David will be down wind of it.
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on February 27, 2016
Beautiful photos that take the reader from the rooftops of Paris down to the streets below and into the author's unpretentious kitchen. Robust home cooking. Mr. Lebovitz is into mustard: his Chicken with Mustard is easy to make and delicious. Insightful vignettes about the differences between French and American tastes in food. Meals that are affordable, uncomplicated, and flavor-packed: a Celery Root Salad with Mustard Sauce that is irresistible. One caveat--Parisian fare is not health food in the conventional sense: the recipes in MY PARIS KITCHEN contain fats, salts, and spices that might overwhelm the palates of young children and that may be off-limits to adults with special dietary needs.
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