Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Yea…

  • Full Title : Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris
  • Autor: Ann Mah
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books; 1st edition
  • Publication Date: September 26, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143125923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670025992
  • Download File Format: epub


The memoir of a young diplomat’s wife who must reinvent her dream of living in Paris—one dish at a time

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city.  Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Like Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French and Julie Powell’s New York Times bestseller Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love—of food, family, and France.


From Booklist

Mah gladly dons rose-colored glasses in this gastronomic travelogue of regional French cuisine. She revels in the essence of summer captured in Provence’s fresh and creamy soupe au pistou; the gooey decadence of Savoie’s fondue; and the buttery, toothsome chew of Brittany’s buckwheat crepes, attempting to distract herself with the history of classic French dishes after her diplomat husband is called away from their new post in Paris for a yearlong assignment in Iraq. Another diplomat’s wife, Julia Child, is invoked throughout the book for guidance in French cuisine and in dealing with the unsettling feeling of playing second fiddle to a spouse whose job requires regular moves about the globe. The real joy of this book, though, is in Mah’s mouthwatering, bite-by-bite descriptions of the plates set before her in Parisian cafés, country homes, and hole-in-the-wall foodie hideaways. Francophiles will delight in the smattering of French words and phrases sprinkled throughout every page, and serious cooks may endeavor to follow the lengthy recipes for a signature regional dish included at the end of each chapter. –Amye Day Ong


“Mah admirably fits her research into easily digested bites, the reader’s enthusiasm mirroring her own.” 

New York Times Book Review

“A progressive dinner of food, countryside and the people who make French cuisine the feast that it is. Mah admits that she could now do another memoir of lesser-known regions and their dishes. It’s enough to make one hope she gets abandoned in France again.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune

“By turns sweet, self-deprecating, humorous, and poignant, with questions of how we grow close to each other through food and curiosity, this memoir is a treat to savor.”

The Kitchn



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