HOME      CONTACT      KATE'S GLOBAL KITCHEN      COOKBOOK PROFILES      GLOBAL DESTINATIONS      I LOVE DESSERTS      SHOPPING      SEARCH


 

Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

 
Kate's Pick for Breaking Out of the Box...

Parisian Home Cooking
Conversations, Recipes, and Tips from
the Cooks and Food Merchants of Paris
By Michael Roberts

 

Michael Roberts, a well-known Los Angeles chef, was an early pioneer of California cuisine at his landmark restaurant, Trumps, in the early 1980's.

I have a special fondness in my heart for Michael Roberts—and he probably has no idea that I do, let alone why.

On November 10, 1990, I attended a book signing in which Michael Roberts was autographing his most recent books, Secret Ingredients: the Magical Process of Combining Flavors, and Fresh from the Freezer.

An aspiring cookbook author at the time, I told Michael that I was writing my first book and hoped to find a publisher for it. Instead of nodding with glazed eyes or yawning, he instead offered kindness and encouragement—things every wannabe author needs in bulk quantities.

I bought both of his books. In them, Michael, who has a very calming, charming demeanor, penned the following notes to me:

 

In Secret Ingredients:
For Kate,
Cooking well is the best revenge,
but writing about it is even better!
- Good luck, Michael Roberts

 

In Fresh from the Freezer:
Hey, Kate!
Chill out!
- Michael Roberts

 

Not only did these inscriptions make me laugh out loud, but they've helped inspire my career. While writing my first published book Cooking with Kids For Dummies, I often reflected on both sets of advice (when the muse was visiting and also when she was not). During the most frustrating times, they've even become my daily aspirations. So with just a random act of kindness and a few select words, Michael Roberts has helped keep my keyboard churning every day—and I bet he has no idea of his influence.

Parisian Home Cooking  
Words have impact because they bring us together. We connect by shared experiences. Cookbooks can be as powerful in their impact on peoples' lives and experiences as are great novels, biographies or nonfiction works. Cookbooks can even have a greater advantage than other genres because they already start off with a subject universal to the collective consciousness: food. We eat everyday, and when we do, we all experience taste, smell, sight, and textures of food, whether we cooked the food or not.

Michael Roberts' most recent tome, Parisian Home Cooking, activates that collective chord and amplifies it so you can almost feel the subtle vibrations in the pages. It has tenderness. He writes with warm, conversational intimacy, as if he's sitting across a small, kitchen table from you, sharing a glass of wine. The headnotes before the recipes are skillfully brief, so that his words seem to caress the recipe to follow. He speaks like a man spending time with a companion of many years, and this is not surprising. For this book really is Michael's intimate love affair with Paris, one he began in 1975, but in quite a different way.

In that year, Michael Roberts discarded his previous musical career for professional culinary training in Paris. He studied under master chefs and learned the classic techniques. He considered French cuisine that which could only be found in two and three star restaurants. And this perspective, developed at an early age, is precisely the box that Michael broke out of to write this book.

Unlike other French cookbooks, this book revels not in haute cuisine, but in the every day home cooking of Paris' residents, where freshness and straightforward techniques rule. Photos of the markets, the vendors, and most delightfully, the photos of Michael's friends in their match-box size kitchens capture the simplicity and honesty that clearly struck Michael when he recently returned to Paris. Breaking out of the professional chef box, Michael's heartfelt appreciation of the lifestyle of the average Parisian—where preparing an everyday meal is dynamically integrated with the grower, seller, cook, and diner—makes an impact on him, and on the reader.

This book really does make me feel like I've spent many long, wonderful days in the homes and kitchens of true Parisians, even though I have not. It took Michael Roberts 25 years to really see what his love for Paris was all about, and the Paris he now loves is not white-starched or stuffy, but soft, playful, and simple. For me, Parisian Home Cooking is the perfect romance novel for my summer vacation. And even without an autographed inscription, this book, its characters and its recipes could not be more personal. It is, in my humble opinion, Michael Roberts' finest writing to date. To echo his own inscription, what sweet revenge!

 
Kate's Summer Cookbook Picks: Introduction

 

Kate's Pick for Breaking Out of the Box...

    Parisian Home Cooking
    Conversations, Recipes, and Tips from
    the Cooks and Food Merchants of Paris

    Recipes

 


     

    Copyright © 1999, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

 


 

This page created July 1999

Top


The Global Gourmet
The Global Gourmet®
Main Page

 

Shamrock
Irish Recipes for
St. Patrick's Day

   Clip to Evernote

Bookmark and Share

 

Twitter: @KateHeyhoe

 
Search this site:

Advanced Search
Recent Searches


Departments

Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate's Books
Cookbook Profiles
Global Destinations
Holiday & Party Recipes
I Love Desserts
On Wine
Shopping

Caffeine and You Caffeine and You
cooking kids Cooking with Kids
new green basics New Green Basics

Archives
Conversions, Charts
   & Substitutions
Search

About the
Global Gourmet®
   Contact Info
   Advertising
   Feedback
   Privacy Statement

Recent Cookbooks

Cooking Italian
175 Home Recipes
4-Hour Chef
Bakery Cookbook
Barefoot Contessa
Bouchon Bakery
Burma: Rivers of Flavor
Cake Mix Doctor
Comfort Food
Craft of Coffee
Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Daily Cookie
Fifty Shades Chicken
French Slow Cooker
Frontera - Rick Bayless
Gluten-Free Quick & Easy
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Kitchen Science
Lidia's Favorite Recipes
Make-Ahead and Freeze
Modern Milkshakes
Modernist Cuisine
Mystic Cookbook
Paleo Slow Cooking
Picky Palate
Pop Bakery
Practical Paleo
Quick Family Cookbook
Saltie
Sensational Cookies
Smitten Kitchen
Southern Living Recipes
Sweet Life in Paris
Trader Joe's Vegetarian
True Food
Whole Larder

More Cookbooks

 

Kitchen & Home
Markdowns

 
.

Copyright © 1994-2013,
Forkmedia LLC

 

 


cat toysCatnip Toys
 

Kitchen & Home
Markdowns

 
,