Friday, November 5, 2010

Fanfare for Modern French Food

When famed Parisian patissier Pierre Hermé went looking for someone to write his cookbook, Desserts by Pierre Hermé, he chose Dorie Greenspan. When it came time to do his next book, Chocolate Desserts, he asked Dorie again. 

When top New York chef Daniel Boulud signed his book contract, he called on Dorie to help with the writing. 

And when the legendary Julia Child needed someone to pen the companion cookbook for her PBS series Baking with Julia


But even when Dorie writes her own books—filled with her own recipes and ideas—those are huge hits too. 

All told, Dorie is the author of ten cookbooks, many of them best-sellers. She’s won all the prestigious cookbook awards, she writes for Bon Appetit and the New York Times, she’s a frequent guest on National Public Radio and she produces a wonderful blog at

If that weren’t enough, Dorie is the periodic perpetrator of fun foodie hijinks such as the pop up CookieBar she and her son, Josh, opened in New York last year. It was a huge hit, of course. 

Oh, and did I mention that Dorie divides her time between a beautiful old home in Connecticut, a rambling apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and a charming pied a terre in Paris? 

If she weren’t so sweet and funny and amazing and talented, everyone would hate her for sure. 

So why am I telling you all this? Because Dorie’s new book is just out. And while she certainly doesn’t need me to promote it—it’s getting great reviews, flying off shelves and just debuted on the New York Times How-To Bestseller List—it’s one I’m sure you foodie Francophiles will all want to own. It’s called Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, October, 2010). Amazon just named it the best cookbook of the year. 

Here’s how Dorie describes it: “This isn’t French cooking by the rulebook,” she says. “This is more like my French kitchen journal…the food I’ve been passionately involved with for all these years…true elbows-on-the-table food that can be made and enjoyed by everyone. Some of the recipes are classic, many are surprising and new and some are what my French friends cook at home every day. 

“The French are just as busy as we are,” she continues, “and they’re masters of supremely easy—and supremely delicious food.” 

Around My French Table has been out just a few weeks now and predictably, cooks are raving. 

Here’s Alec Lobrano in the New York Times: “This book is as much fun to read as it is to cook from…If Julia Child was the first to attempt to demystify French cooking for the Stateside home chef, Greenspan succeeds in making it seem eminently doable and easy…” 

And here’s blogger/food writer Ellise Pierce, another American in Paris: “Dorie's book Baking: From My Home to Yours is probably the most batter-splattered, dog-eared cookbook on my shelf. And now I'm loving Around My French Table--it's such a great mix of what you see in France today, from salads with couscous and quinoa, to super-easy appetizers and fabulous desserts that are gobbled up as quickly as they come together.” 

In the book, serving and storage notes are listed neatly down the margin and ingredients are printed in red type for easy reference. Every recipe is accompanied by sidebar ideas on serving, storing, preparing ahead, substitutions and repurposing leftovers. Dorie tells me the dishes are easy enough to be made by a novice and that all the ingredients are available at your local market. 

“In fact,” she says, “I tested all the recipes in my Connecticut kitchen and did about 95% of my marketing at good-old Stop & Shop. It’s amazing how much great French food you can make from everyday American ingredients.”

To order Around My French Table, click HERE.


  1. Bonjour Julie~ Dorie is obviously a whiz in the kitchen + she knows food & what works with what.
    Her new book sounds amazing ~ a must have !!

  2. Julie, Merci, merci mille fois for this wonderful post. And congratulations and bunches of wishes for success on your new book. xoDorie

  3. This reminds me of growing up with my French mother's wonderful cooking. I think it his how she captured my dad's heart. Great review!

  4. Jules, I can't wait to read this new book! It sounds like the perfect early holiday gift - for myself... :) (Dorie's blog is wonderful, too.) What's more attractive than classic and modern French recipes simplified and adapted for today's busy lives? Eating well is not optional. -Susan, NYC

  5. J: What a wonderful (and well-deserved review). I have Dorie's book in my kitchen right now and I fully agree with your words. Brava to both of you!

  6. Ooh, thanks so much for the heads up on this one...I have one great french cookbook, but I want to learn more. This sounds fabulous!

    Bon weekend!
    Hope Ava

  7. Can't wait to pick up a copy and thanks for the detailed history of Dorie's career in the kitchen - so much to learn! Sounds destined to become a French cooking classic. Putting it on my Christmas list wish-list :)

  8. I have had the book for a few weeks now and the recipes are wonderful. We have a restaurant called Bistro Des Copains in Northern CA and we have adapted several recipes for specials. I recommend the book highly.

  9. And I thought that I didn't need another cookbook....Oh Well....Merci for the post....I look forward to the arrival of my copy.