By Georgeanne Brennan
A meal in France. Few people can resist the invitation. It might be dinner in a Mâcon bistro, with the local Pouilly-Fuissé freely poured, or a lunchtime salade niçoise at a rural auberge in Provence, a midnight steak-frites in a Paris brasserie or a sack of picnic provisions bought at a marketplace in Bayonne. Savoring France invites readers on an unhurried culinary tour in search of the true French table, an intriguing tapestry of local specialties and national dishes. The journey is recorded in compelling text and 140 recipes, including Sautéed Foie Gras with Grapes from Bordeaux, Duck with Lavender Honey from Provence, Whole Stuffed Cabbage from Alsace, and Cherry Custard Cake from Limousin. Together the recipes, each one stunningly photographed, deliver a fully drawn portrait of French cooking that reveals a respect for the rustic and the refined, the traditional and the innovative.
But this is also a book for cooks who love to read. Award-winning author Georgeanne Brennan, who has owned a farmhouse in Haute Provence for some three decades, shares a wealth of stories and lore that takes readers from raising goats in the hills above Nice to dining in a fashionable restaurant in Paris to cooking bouillabaisse over a driftwood fire at the beach. In over two dozen boxed features, she explores such intriguing topics as the importance of the cheese course in the French meal, the heady taste and fragrance of herbes de Provence, and the New Year's Eve ritual of raw oysters and Champagne. These instructive passages, combined with the rich personal narrative, lavish scenic photography, and beautiful watercolor illustrations, blend to make Savoring France a trip not only to the French table but to the very heart of French culture.
Georgeanne Brennan is a widely published food and garden writer and culinary teacher who divides her time between her small farm in northern California and her longtime home in Provence. She writes for such magazines as Metropolitan Home, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, and Country Gardens, and her work appears regularly in the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. Her many books include Potager: Fresh Garden Cooking in the French Style; The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence, for which she won the 1998 James Beard Award for Best International Cookbook; and Aperitif, the recipient of the 1998 Julia Child Award for Best Wine or Beverage Book.
Chuck Williams, general editor, has helped to revolutionize cooking in America. He opened his first store in the California wine country town of Sonoma in 1956, later moving it to San Francisco. More than 150 stores are now open in the United States, and the company's catalog has an annual circulation of over 42 million. The philosophy behind his success is aptly summed up by the title of the cookbook he wrote to chronicle Williams-Sonoma's first 40 years: Celebrating the Pleasures of Cooking.
By Georgeanne Brennan
Time Life Books
Cloth: $39.95, 1999
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created January 2000