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Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 26, 2010
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Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and proprietor of Chez Panisse, her restaurant in Berkeley, California. For four decades, Waters has been a champion of local, organic, and sustainable food. She founded the Chez Panisse Foundation in 1995, which works to promote Edible Schoolyards around the country that integrate growing and cooking fresh, delicious food into school curricula. In addition, Waters is a vice president of Slow Food International, an organization dedicated to preserving the world’s local and artisan food traditions. She is also the author of several cookbooks, including the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, and In the Green Kitchen. Read her review of Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous:
In her latest collection of recipes, Joan Nathan shows that she is an anthropologist of the first order as she explores the point of intersection between French and Jewish food traditions and chronicles how it has come to form a culture all its own.I have come to expect nothing less than the most thoughtfully researched and recorded recipes from Joan, and this latest book will help to redefine the world of Jewish cuisine for many home cooks, myself included. As much as this book shows Joan’s care in communicating recipes, it is also a testament to her skill as a scholar of the world’s food traditions. Joan is a remarkable curator of recipes, selecting dishes that are not only delicious, but that communicate the history of this unique cuisine.
In a time when so many of the world’s food cultures are threatening to disappear, we need more books like Joan’s--books that teach us about the local food traditions and local ingredients that have been sustaining us for generations. If we don’t record these traditions, they will surely be forgotten. Through this book, Joan has found a way not only to make these French-Jewish dishes approachable, but also to preserve them for today’s cooks and for cooks of future generations.
From Publishers Weekly
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More About the Author
In 2004 Ms. Nathan was the Guest Curator of Food Culture USA, the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC, based on the research for her book, The New American Cooking.
Ms. Nathan's PBS television series, Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan, was nominated in 2000 for the James Beard Award for Best National Television Food Show. She was also senior producer of Passover: Traditions of Freedom, an award-winning documentary sponsored by Maryland Public Television. Ms. Nathan has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs including the Today show, Good Morning, America, and National Public Radio.
An inductee to the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who in American Food and Beverage, she has also received the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts magazine. In addition, Ms. Nathan received an honorary degree from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Culture in Chicago and the Golda Award from the American Jewish Congress.
Joan Nathan was born in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a master's degree in French literature and earned a master's in public administration from Harvard University. For three years she lived in Israel where she worked for Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem. In 1974, working for Mayor Abraham Beame in New York, she co-founded the Ninth Avenue Food Festival. The mother of three grown children, Ms. Nathan lives in Washington, D.C. and Martha's Vineyard with her husband, attorney Allan Gerson.
Top Customer Reviews
It's an interesting cookbook, but more valuable to me as a history book. The intersection of North African, Jewish and French culture is well explored in the text and is a great read.
The recipes are pretty well dispersed, one supposes a fairly accurate array of what French Jews cook at home - but this is maybe a little different than French/Jewish cuisine? A lot of the recipes are easily found in other sources, and don't require any adaptation to make them kosher, or are not too far afield from what could be found, or inspired by, in a good vegetarian cookbook - like quiche without lardons, celeriac remoulade, or Roquefort souffle.
The North African recipes are the most interesting, but so far the versions I've tried from this book are less lively than the ones in my Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian cookbooks - and have not needed any modifications to be kosher.
So - its more a "living room" historical and cultural book for me - and an excellent one in that respect - rather than a manual I'll use in the kitchen.
Some of the recipes can't be found anywhere else and I'm excited to try more recipes for Jewish dishes that are quite different from the expected American-Jewish staples.
More details about the book and some of the recipes are at boldlygosolo dot com, December 6 post.
This book combines my two great loves - French food and Jewish food, so thank you!
My copy also has the normal machine cut edge -- which I like better actually than the fancy edge because it's easier to find a recipe in a hurry.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was excellent in that it addressed the history of food, France and the Jews. My daughter lives in France and I love how she has adapted to French/Jewish cooking. Read morePublished 11 months ago by redhead
I expected a less esoteric and chatty cookbook.
The ingredients are expensive and also some of them are not easy to come by. Read more
I have used this book extensively. Recipes are distinctly French. Excellent resource for Jewish cooking that emphasizes fresh ingredients and is not the heavier Ashkenazi-style. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Tesh
Love this book. Unfortunately my friend whom I gave it to doesn't like to cook so she have it to her daughter. it is a lovely gift with gorgeous illustrations.Published 20 months ago by 7413
These recipes are interesting and not your usual kosher fare. The stories about the people who are cooking the recipes are also interesting and don't make it seem like the author... Read morePublished 21 months ago by leezee
great book and recipes, daughter loves it, was a gift for her birthday after her return from visiting France this yearPublished on August 6, 2013 by helene bednarsh
Book was in excellent condition, obviously never used however several pages were folded and ripped at the very bottom of the page. I was ok with itPublished on May 22, 2013 by Cheryl