When I was contacted about reviewing Ann Mah’s, Mastering the Art of French Eating, I couldn’t have been more delighted. This is one of those sumptuous reads that I was dying to get my hands on. The whole title just draws me in; Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris… ‘French’, check, ‘Eating’, check, ‘Food’, check, ‘Love’, check, ‘Paris’, check. This is my kind of book and when it arrived, I was not disappointed. It’s one of those gorgeous books that I know I will not be passing on but will keep for myself to decorate an end table or nightstand to open up when I need a dose of deliciousness or to bring into the kitchen for a recipe.
Mastering the Art of French Eating is the story of Ann Mah’s year Paris and her exploration of French cuisine throughout the city and the country. Each chapter features a different region and its speciality… Steak Frites in Paris, Brittany’s Crêpes, the Salad Lyonnaise in Lyon and so on. Naturally the first thing I did when I opened the book was to skip ahead to Provence…
“I know it’s a little, well, cliché to be captivated by Provence, a region that has made the fortune of not a few travel writers. But I am – I can’t help myself. These are some of the things I love: Proud pink villages perched on hilltops. The relief of moving from sharp light and heat into cool shadows. Unapologetic ice cubes tinkling in a glass of rosé. The gusty wind known as the mistral, rough and cleansing. Unfiltered olive oil decanted into recycled juice bottles, bought at a roadside stand. Lavender-scented breezes tumbling into car windows. Tangy Provençal accents. Vineyards and fields shadowed by the looming bulk of the Luberon Mountains.”
After reading that paragraph, I was hooked, Mah nailed it. With the Provence chapter comes a recipe for Soupe au Pistou, a dish that Papa’s Wife makes gallons of every summer. I looked over the recipe and am happy to report that it would meet Papa’s Wife’s approval. Well done Ann Mah, well done.
Since the holidays are around the corner and I know that you guys would love Mastering the Art of French Eating as much as I do, I’m giving away one copy to one of you!