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On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town Paperback – April 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767904559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767904551
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It has been said that food defines a culture. For the French, food is an integral part of their coveted tradition, and Susan Herrmann Loomis's new book On Rue Tatin embraces both. As a young, recent American college graduate, Loomis left the U.S. for France to attend one of the oldest French cooking schools, La Varenne. Her intent was to immerse herself in French cooking with the aspiration of becoming a food critic. Working as the French equivalent of an apprentice, she quickly became intimate with the ways and traditions that define the French culture, specifically its cuisine. On Rue Tatin ("On Tatin Street") is a descriptive narrative of Loomis's first several years in France, her encounters with the local people, and the bonds she formed, as well as recipes she gathered during her time there.

Following her formal culinary training, Loomis returned to the U.S. and met the man who would become her husband. After the couple's first son turned 2, they moved to France where Loomis was determined to launch her writing career focusing on unique aspects of French farming cuisine. She and her husband eventually purchased an old monastery in Louviers in the Normandy region of France. One of the more humorous and memorable stories she shares concerns the landlord of the small rental that they occupied for a year while her husband remodeled the monastery to livable conditions. During that year, the wife of the landlord believed them to be CIA agents and chose to keep a cold distance from the family. Meanwhile the French police suspected them of dealing drugs.

Every recipe featured throughout this memoir comes with an interesting, anecdotal story, and is very much representative of traditional French cuisine. Gateau au Chocolat de Mamy (or Mamy Jacqueline's Chocolate Cake) is a dense, almost death-by-chocolate confection, but served alone or with a fresh fruit coulis, it will bring a smile, as will the sweet explanation of its origin.

Loomis describes experiences and people with much detail, sometimes several times over, and her prose allows the reader to imagine the tempting smells and vivid colors of the countryside. You may find yourself wishing to see pictures of Loomis's home and the quaint village where she lived, but perhaps that was Loomis's intent--she wants to tempt and challenge you to experience the beauty and foods of Louviers and the Normandy region for yourself. --Teresa Simanton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Loomis, an American chef and author of Farmhouse Cookbook and The Great American Seafood Cookbook, enthusiastically recounts every aspect, both intriguing and mundane, of her immersion into the cuisine and lifestyle of northern France. She moved to Paris in 1980 to study cooking and, after a rough start, found her place as a weekend visitor at one family's home in Normandy. After cooking school, she went back to the States, returning to France frequently to visit friends. It wasn't long before she became addicted to Normandy's fresh ingredients goose, garlic, rabbit, wild mushrooms and rich gastronomy, and found herself longing to live there. In 1994, Loomis and her husband moved to the region and bought a dilapidated convent in the small town of Louviers. Her tales of adventures in restoration and run-ins with locals (e.g., the crotchety priest next door, the incorrigibly gregarious rug salesman) are funny, but certainly familiar, especially given that many recent books have told similar stories about ambitious expatriates' forays into rural European life. The cookbook/travelogue/memoir hybrid has become an overcrowded genre, and Loomis's doesn't distinguish itself. Nevertheless, few food writers have depicted Normandy so attentively, and Loomis has compiled an impressive collection of savory recipes that evoke the region's best, including Civet D'Agneau (Hearty Lamb Stew) and Roti de Cuisse de Sanglier (Roasted Leg of Wild Boar). Furthermore, classic Gallic personalities are accurately and engagingly rendered, making this more than just a culinary memoir. (Apr.)Forecast: This work targets Francophilic gastronomes, but probably won't break out of that niche. Nonetheless, the success of Loomis's cookbooks should help boost this title's sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

SUSAN HERRMANN (formerly Loomis), BIOGRAPHY
www.onruetatin.com Www.nutsinthekitchen.com

I am a France-based, award-winning author with nine books to my credit, as well as a professionally trained chef and cooking school proprietor. Originally from Seattle, Washington, I moved to France in the early 1980's to study cooking, stayed on to open a restaurant, and then to work with Patricia on her first book, THE FOOD LOVER'S GUIDE TO PAIRS. I returned to live in France again in 1993, and opened my cooking school in 2001.
Included among my books are THE GREAT AMERICAN SEAFOOD COOKBOOK, FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, CLAMBAKES AND FISH FRIES, FRENCH FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, ITALIAN FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, (all Workman Publishing, Inc.) and ON RUE TATIN (Broadway Books. 2001) a narrative about my life in France, with recipes, which won the IACP best literary food book for 2002. It was followed by a sequel, TARTE TATIN (Harper Collins UK, 2003), by COOKING AT HOME ON RUE TATIN, (William Morrow, May 2005)and most recently by NUTS IN THE KITCHEN (William Morrow 2010).
I contribute to many newspapers and magazines including COOKING LIGHT, METROPOLITAN HOME, THE NEW YORK TIMES, GOURMET, and BON APPETIT, and have appeared on Good Morning America (ABC), Home Matters, Epicurious/Discovery, The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Kasper" (MPR); "Food Talk with Arthur Schwartz" (WOR); and "Good Food Hour with Evan Kleinman" (KSRO);
My cooking school in Louviers, Normandy and in Paris is a cultural and hands-on culinary program. Participants spend five delicious days cooking and enjoying the meals we've made together, along with wines from throughout France, visiting local markets and artisan food producers, and getting an in-depth look at and feeling for all that is wonderful about France. My cooking classes in Paris will be similar, with hands-on classes in Patricia's gorgeous kitchen, visits to producers, and an insider's look at Paris and its gastronomy. www.onruetatin.com I am also a founding member of notakeout.com a website devoted to making mealtimes manageable and delicious!




Customer Reviews

An interesting read with very good recipes.
Amazon Customer
"On Rue Tatin" is a great read for anyone who loves France and loves to cook.
Ruth Sayer
Like many readers who have pointed out, its writing is just awful.
Incognito

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Carmmelis on September 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Substantively, this is a good book. It communicates well the ethos and richness of that which is France with its emphasis on quality of life and simple joys. It has a nice mix of non fiction story telling with actual cooking recipes that the story motivates you to try. All that makes the book a good read.
It is worth reading for those reasons and I would recommend it (with my stated disclaimer below) despite the comments that follow in the next paragraph which I feel compelled to make given the book's problems.
It is actually pretty amazing that this book got published in its persent form. As another reader noted in his/her review, the writing is mostly like a first draft. The book is poor as any kind of demonstration of writing ability and style. The writing is in bad need of editing: chronic overuse of compound sentences, excessive gushing descriptions, repeated words like "drool" to convey the writer's excitement (e.g., it tasted so good it made us "drool") or phrases like "I was in heaven". The writer almost never sees any real problems in life and at every turn the world is seen as full of charm...like nothing bad could ever happen. The writer, as far as she lets on, has clearly had a charmed life...one "charmed" stage in her life seems to seamlessly transition to the next "charmed" phase...she never dwells on how phenomenal that is (if true) and how lucky she has been compared to others. As a result the writer comes across as self-absorbed, self-centered and certainly unaware! Certainly not what you expect of a good observent writer of any true depth.
Small but not inconspicuous oversights in the book make you question the editorial process, if any, it underwent.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is great for anyone who loves France and life's little pleasures. Susan Herrmann Loomis brings you into her daily routine, introduces you to her neighbors, and invites you to her table. I enjoyed fantasizing that I too have the pleasure of early morning market shopping, biking through the French countryside, and indulging in gorgeous pastries and coffees in cafes just paces from my own doorstep.
The book sometimes reads as if it comes straight from her journal notes, but her stories are so charming and the recipes so delicious that it hardly matters.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Tiedemann on June 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Susan Loomis fell in love with France, the French and French cooking when she was a young student 20 years ago. After an apprenticeship at La Varenne de Cuisine in Paris and her subsequent marriage to Michael Loomis, she decides to emigrate. They buy a dilapidated former convent in Louviers, France in 1994 and their story really gets underway.
ON RUE TATIN tells about the renovation of the house as well as the story of their adjustment to French culture, the friends and workmen they encounter, and the life they live as modern expatriots. Having established a reputation and published a cookbook, Loomis writes another throughout the development of this memoir and she includes some of her recipes in this volume.
Loomis is a pedestrian writer at best, so the charm of the book rests on the experiences of the author and the usefulness of the recipes. I tried one -- the chocolate cake -- and found it delicious.
Sunnye Tiedemann
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bohemian Bon Vivant on January 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Why do we read this type of text except for a vicarious thrill and the gleaning of little details of French life? I can't understand the sometimes negative reviews here. This isn't a work of fiction and these people seem to be reading it in the wrong spirit if they expect it to be. For what it is, a chronicle of one woman/family's life in France, I found it enjoyable and would recommend it. If a few readers are by now jaded thinking it yet ANOTHER Peter Mayle, Ann Barry, et al. tale, well then they need to move on and read something else instead of expecting to find magic over and over in sameness. Enjoyable. And it has some recipes. Buy it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lee Mellott TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Captivated by Peter Mayles descriptive works on Provence, I was eager for more. Susan Loomis's book did not disappoint. It is a wonderful read that captures the richness of her life in France.
The book begins with Susan arriving in Paris with little money. She begins an apprenticeship at a cooking school. As the book progresses Susan shares her immersion into the French culture and cuisine.
Eventually she marries,and she and her husband purchase a rundown house in Normandy with charming potential. Step by step you walk with Susan as she recounts her experiences making the home a haven for her family.
You experience Susan's delight in her friends and the joy she has relishing the French cuisine. The love and pride Susan has for her husband and small son emanates from the pages. When she gave birth to her second child, I was touched by the outpouring of love from her freinds and felt tears of joy for her!
Throughout the book the pleasures of life in Normandy captivate. And Susan intersperses the text with special recipes such as Braised Chicken in White Wine and Mustard, Tarte Tatin, and Swiss Chard Frittata.
On Rue Tatin is a wonderful book to curl up with!
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