French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food along the Way by Jean-Pierre Moullé [pdf, epub] 160774547X

French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food along the Way

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  • Title: French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food along the Way
  • Autor: Jean-Pierre Moullé
  • Publisher (Publication Date): Ten Speed Press; F First Edition edition (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English

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A narratively rich cookbook of French and Californian recipes from longtime Chez Panisse executive chef Jean-Pierre Moulle and his wife, Denise Moulle.

Jean-Pierre and Denise Moullé met on a street corner in Berkeley, California, in 1980; six months later they were married. French Roots is the story of their lives told through the food they cook, beginning with the dishes of old-world France–the couple’s birthplace–and focusing on the simple, pared-down preparations of French food common in the postwar period. The story then travels to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s, where Jean-Pierre was appointed executive chef at Chez Panisse when California cuisine was just emerging as a distinctive and important style, and where Denise began importing French wine. Finally, the journey follows the couple to their homes in Sonoma, California, and Bordeaux to revisit the classic dishes of the Moullés’ native country and hone the forgotten skills of foraging, hunting, and preserving. 

Exquisitely written, with recipes that are innovative and timeless, insights on cooking and thinking like a chef, and an insider’s guide to the wines of Bordeaux, French Roots is much more than a cookbook—it’s a guide to living the good life.


“This book and its exquisite pictures bring back so many memories of the beautiful way Jean-Pierre and Denise cook and live. We had a dinner at their home in Peyraut that I will never forget: Eels freshly caught from the river, wrapped in bacon and grilled over the open fire, that was perfect in its simplicity. My time with them in France was a revelatory experience, and an extraordinary education. The Moullés’ rich cultural heritage and unique sensibility are both thoughtfully captured in this book through their evocative stories, recipes, and images. Jean-Pierre has a rustic yet elegant style in the kitchen—a rare combination—and I have always admired the graceful way he approaches food. Whether he is effortlessly filleting a fish or boning a leg of lamb; assembling a beautiful, seasonal four-course menu, or preparing a special lunch for friends with a wild duck he hunted himself; cooking is second nature to him. This book is a delight to read, and perfectly captures the values that matter most: gathering with family and friends around the table and living attuned to the rhythms of the land with a deep respect for season and place.”  —Alice Waters, proprietor of Chez Panisse and author of The Art of Simple Food “That Jean-Pierre and Denise Moullé curated such a stunning collection of recipes is an inevitability. That they managed to animate each recipe with feeling and memory is a supreme act of generosity. French Roots lovingly narrates the places, times, and tastes that shaped their marriage—it’s a vivid reminder of the transcendence of good cooking.”  —Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns “Count yourself lucky to own this book, a collaboration by one of the most magical couples I know. My husband and I spent a week with them, and it was an inspiration to watch them in action, so relaxed and intuitive about food, wine, hospitality, and life.” —Bette Midler

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About the Author

Until his retirement in April 2012, JEAN-PIERRE MOULLE was the executive chef at Chez Panisse, where he began working in 1975. DENISE MOULLE comes from the Bordeaux wine-making empire of the Lurton family. She worked as a wine distributor in California for many years before starting Two Bordelais in 1987, which offers guided tours through France.

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My husband and I took a week long cooking course with Jean-Pierre and Denise several years ago. It was the best food and wine adventure we have ever had. Excitedly we opened the French Roots book and were thrilled to see that it was reminiscent of our Bordeaux experience with them. This lovely book is about story, it is about a couple’s way of life between two continents, it is about respect and appreciation of food, and it is filled with thoughtful and delicious recipes. The beautiful pictures add an intimate element to the reader’s experience as we join these two cooks in their passions for cooking, for the land, and for each other.

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