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 cafe 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.
About the Author
Ruth Reichl joined Gourmet as Editor in Chief in April 1999. She came to the magazine from The New York Times, where she had been the restaurant critic since 1993. As chef and co-owner of The Swallow Restaurant from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California. In the years that followed, she served as restaurant critic for New West and California magazines. In 1984, she became restaurant critic of the Los Angeles Times, where she was also named food editor. Reichl began writing about food in 1972, when she published a book called Mmmmm: A Feastiary. Since then, she has authored the critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs, Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me With Apples. She is the editor of The Modern Library Cooking Series, released in March 2001. She has also written the introductions for Nancy Silverton s Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur (1996) and Measure of Her Powers: An M.F.K. Fisher Reader (2000). She is currently working on Remembrance of Things Paris, The Gourmet Cookbook, and a third memoir. Reichl has been honored with three James Beard Awards (two for restaurant criticism, in 1996 and 1998, and one for journalism, in 1994) and with numerous awards from the Association of American Food Journalists. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, and lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer, and their son.
Praise for Remembrance of Things Paris:
“With selections from the last six decades, this book gives the reader snapshots of Paris that are crisp, clear, and often poignant, proof that things really have changed in the temple of food. The cameos of the sleeves-rolled-up individuals behind the big names—including Berthillon and Lenôtre—read like fiction and remind us of a fundamental truth: creating magic in the kitchen is hard work, and the French have been at it far longer than others. An entrancing book.”
—Thad Carhart, New York Times-bestselling author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank