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Enjoyable, quick read about an American pastry chef who moved to Paris.

Filled with delicous sounding recipes and funny stories about the cultural differences between him and the people of Paris.

I've never been to Paris and this book does not make me want to go! In fact, it makes me want to avoid it forever!
 
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hmonkeyreads | outras 47 resenhas | Jan 25, 2024 |
Make these yummy recipes with a KitchenAid ice cream bowl (you place the bowl in the freezer until it's FRIGID, snap it onto the mixer base, add the custard, and presto-change-o, ice cream!)
 
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jemisonreads | outras 9 resenhas | Jan 22, 2024 |
I enjoyed most of the book, though Lebovitz's humor can be a bit catty at times. The last, say, third or so of the book felt a bit more aggressively critical than the rest. I'm chalking it up to the fact that the book was written at the very beginning of Lebovitz's time in Paris, so I think a lot of the commentary is still coming from a place of culture shock as opposed to genuine negativity. I was just surprised at just how grouchy some of the chapters can come across considering this is all coming from a man who just up and decided to move his entire life to Paris. I thought he would be a little more enamored than curmudgeonly about the differences between San Francisco and Paris because of that courageous drive the decision seemed to reflect.

This is my first Lebovitz book, including his cookbooks, but I'm not turned off enough to not try checking out his other work. I will admit that, though I was a little disappointed with his tone in places, he still provided some valuable information for anyone planning on visiting or moving to Paris. I also can't speak for Lebovitz's recipes since I haven't tried any of them yet, but the Chouquettes aux Pepites de Chocolat recipe looks divine and is very high on my baking list.

Oh, and the back section where he provides resources and addresses is wonderful, and he should definitely be commended for thinking of including it. There are only a couple defunct websites, but the rest have great stuff that can't really be found outside of big cities with gourmet shops.
 
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BonBonVivant | outras 47 resenhas | Jan 18, 2023 |
Parts were appealing, cute. overall didn't catch me and felt a little too parody of the American in Paris for my taste.
 
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maitrigita | outras 47 resenhas | Oct 1, 2022 |
If you are secretly (or not so secretly) fascinated by the sight of car wrecks (where no one is injured, of course), you might really like this book.

That's not why I bought it, or course; I thought I'd be reading a breezy memoir about moving to Paris and buying a fabulous, though a tad run down, old apartment and the joys of renovating it. I imagined living vicariously through the author as he haunted the flea markets and found fabulous old doors, lamps, hardware, crockery, etc. Sure, the title says "disasters", too, but they're probably the run of the mill disasters everyone faces when building/renovating, right? Someone painted the kitchen the color meant for the baths, or switched the hot and cold taps.

Not even close. In fact, looking at the title, I'm not at all sure where the "delights" come into play. Maybe book 2? Because I gotta tell you, after reading this, I have a lot more sympathy for people who burn the house down for the insurance money. I also have a new appreciation for just how much worse Australian real estate could be. I've always tried to be positive or, at least tactful, about my current home country, but I've never held back on how bent I believe their real estate industry is, particularly Melbourne's (I'm not wrong either: Victoria has been cited numerous times for fraudulent real estate practices; not that it slows anybody down). But boy howdy, Paris makes it clear Aussies are in the minor leagues.

But the buying dramas (did you know you need a medical examination to get a home loan?) were just the amuse bouche; the real nightmare, the one you can't stop reading because it's like a train that just keeps on wrecking itself, a metal snowball gaining mass and spreading destruction, is the renovations. There. are. no. words.

This is where I stop to give a heartfelt thanks to my Daddy, an electrical engineer, and for the grace of god that I was born curious. Foreign country or not (and you can't discount how big a difference that makes - even if the foreign country speaks your language), I'm fortunate that I know enough about electricity, plumbing, and (very) basic building construction to suspect when something isn't right, or safe. Lebovitz was not so blessed and neither was his partner, although he was at least Parisian, and so was able to bridge the language - and sometimes the cultural - gaps, as well as throw well timed fits of temper. But even so, what happens, what they end up with... nope. Still no words. I cannot imagine what I'd have done in his shoes, but it probably would have been neither legal or sane.

It ends well enough, but, though he doesn't give any real figures, one has to assume he had a shit ton of money somewhere because by my rough reckoning, that renovation cost him more than 3 times the original budget.

Throughout this nightmare, he does paint a vivid and gorgeous picture of Paris markets and food, both of which, from what I read here, are better experienced as a tourist. And most of the chapters end with a recipe; some easy, and some for the experienced baker. At some point in the future I'll be giving his Swedish meatball recipe a shot.

And Swedish meatballs leads me to this final thought: there is nothing on this earth that would ever compel me to stand in line for 4 1/2 freaking hours in Ikea. Nothing. Not if the kitchen cabinets were made of solid mahogany and gilded in solid gold. Omg...4.5 hours in Ikea...
 
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murderbydeath | outras 12 resenhas | Jan 24, 2022 |
Ma foi! Quel plaignant! I might have given it more stars except for the unrelenting complaints about the surly French. We’ve traveled to France quite often and I haven’t really met as many as he seems to have. Couple that with the incessant commentary on the delicious dentist, cute fishermen, beautiful bakers...why? It’s as off putting as a hetero always commenting on women’s looks. Beauty is skin deep. Appealing certainly, but there’s more to a person than their looks. My own complaints aside, I mostly enjoyed the book, enjoyed reading about Paris and the French quirkiness (when they weren’t being nasty) and the recipes were scrumptious!
 
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PattyLee | outras 47 resenhas | Dec 14, 2021 |
This is a light, breezy book about the joy of food, French culture, and all matters of whimsy that David Lebovitz has observed in his life in Paris and elsewhere. I laughed out loud more than once and smiled all the way through. There's a cozy feel to the book, and David's voice comes through like he's chatting with a friend. Each short chapter is followed by at least one recipe, too. I have a feeling I'd like more of his books.
 
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ladycato | outras 47 resenhas | Dec 2, 2021 |
I feel like I actually learned something about Paris by reading this book. Sometimes you need to hear all the not-so-great things about an overly romanticized city to get the real scoop. I feel enlightened and I chuckled along the way. In my opinion, this was a delightful read.
 
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ABQcat | outras 47 resenhas | Jun 19, 2021 |
What fun--Lebovitz is such a character, there were lots of times I felt as if I was reading a Bemelmans story--and the recipes. Can't wait to try many, starting with the absinthe cake, the fromage blanc souffle, the Breton buckwheat cake...
 
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giovannaz63 | outras 47 resenhas | Jan 18, 2021 |
I'll copy a couple of the recipes, then give it away. The author's utter incompetence at everything besides cooking is funny for about a dozen pages, but then becomes tedious and annoying.
 
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FelixQuiPotuit | outras 12 resenhas | Dec 29, 2020 |
Memoir of moving to and adjusting to life in Paris by David Leibovitz, one of my favorite bloggers. Recipes are interspersed.½
 
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geraldinefm | outras 47 resenhas | Sep 3, 2020 |
I used to read his blog and found the book just as enjoyable. Tales about French bureaucracy, apartment hunting, plumbing troubles, etc. It was funny, but I'll admit that it helps to have some knowledge of French to appreciate the jokes. There are about 2 dozen recipes, which is why I used to follow him and partly why I bought the book.
 
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robyncarlssson | outras 12 resenhas | Aug 19, 2020 |
A pastry chef moves to Paris and creates a blog. Lots of funny little Parisian anecdotes: how rude they can sometimes be, the greves, car horns, and bad coffee. But offset by the outdoor markets, baguettes, and chocolate. I was jealous. Lots of recipes too, but haven't tried them yet.
 
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penelopethecruise | outras 47 resenhas | Aug 18, 2020 |
Good Paris memoir, if you liked his first book you'll probably like this one as well.
 
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HarperWill | outras 47 resenhas | Aug 14, 2020 |
This is a lovely book filled with gorgeous photographs of food and drink and many, many recipes. But what brings it to life is David Lebovitz’ joyous engagement with all the elements of drinking in France -- from one’s first café au lait in the morning to apéritifs and liqueurs in the afternoon to cocktails in the evening. It is a pleasure to wander from café to cocktail bar in his company, with many stops at vineyards and distilleries along the way.

Some of the drinks described herein will be familiar to most people. Some are interesting french variations on drinks you may have already enjoyed. And some will be totally new to you, either because the ingredients are difficult to source outside of France or because Lebovitz is being especially inventive. There is a nice range of things which you will feel comfortable to try right away or plan ahead to try. And some will be drinks or dishes which you’ll never want to try yourself but which are still lovely to read about and enjoy vicariously.

But more than that, this book has me longing to return to Paris and other locales in France. Surely that will be one of our first destinations after this long siege of social distancing is finally and safely over. For now, a fine book like this one will just make dreaming that much easier.

Recommended.
 
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RandyMetcalfe | Jul 12, 2020 |
I had so much fun reading this cookbook/memoir over the past week. I didn't hurry, just enjoyed the recipes, the little stories, and the vibrant pictures that David Lebovitz included.

I will say that I found the recipes intriguing and thought everything sounded great. I am now addicted to salted butter and found out things that I never knew before regarding duck fat. Also I now want to buy all the duck fat and make it with potatoes. Mmmmmm.

I would say that I wish that we had more stories included. The recipes are great, but the book comes alive for me when Mr. Lebovitz gives readers an intimate look at his life in Paris. Whether it is finding out where to get kale or how to purchase cheeses, he makes everything seem like a fun adventure.

One warning. Do not read this book if you are even a little bit hungry.
 
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ObsidianBlue | outras 6 resenhas | Jul 1, 2020 |
My foodie friends and food blogs the world over have been crowing about this book. I recently received an ice cream machine and immediately bought this book for myself. This is the ice cream book for me: Guinness-milk chocolate ice cream, raspberry-rosé sorbet, Aztec "hot" chocolate ice cream, lavender-honey ice cream...
 
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Nikchick | outras 9 resenhas | Mar 21, 2020 |
I read this for the essays rather than the recipes (recipe books do not work well on kindles) - More inspiration to go back to Paris!
 
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cindywho | outras 6 resenhas | May 27, 2019 |
Funny anecdotes about living in Paris - I was happy to learn you can now get decas (decaf coffees) in the cafes.
1 vote
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cindywho | outras 47 resenhas | May 27, 2019 |
A beautiful revised edition of David Lebovitz's classic ice cream book, with 200 recipes for many different types of ice creams, toppings and other accompaniments. I learned how to make homemade ice creams from the original book, which became my bible and main source of inspiration. This edition is a wonderful update and I can't wait to try out new recipes like the Negroni Slush and the Spritz Sorbet!
 
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espadana | outras 9 resenhas | Apr 29, 2019 |
This took me about 20 pages or so to get into, and then it clicked. I realized it was a lot like Peter Mayle's wonderful A Year in Provence: personal experiences (often humorous) describing the French culture from an outsider's perspective, and with recipes! In this case author David Lebovitz is an American so I could easily identify with his observations. A former SF Bay Area resident and experienced chef including many years at Chez Panisse, Lebovitz had lived in Paris for more than 10 years when he decided to write this book. Most of the recipes, while classically French, have been adjusted by Lebovitz for an American reader/cook. In addition to recipes, with wit and humor he discusses how the French shop, French food preferences and quirks, and sources of where to purchase various items (cookware, spices, food items). Even if you have no intention of cooking the next time you visit Paris, after reading this book you will appreciate knowing more about the French and their food culture. And when you do visit, you may find yourself tracking down some of the shops Lebovitz praises - those that sell chocolate, pastries, breads, and more. And in the meantime, you can use these recipes to recreate some of the dishes found in France.
 
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PhyllisReads | outras 6 resenhas | Apr 27, 2019 |
As his life in Paris continues to unfold, world-renowned chef David Lebovitz discovers that living in his adopted country of France requires not only learning how the French think, but thinking like a Frenchman himself. He details his trials and tribulations, along with humor and acquired patience and acceptance in “L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home”. Seeking to renovate his apartment and create his dream kitchen finds encounters with local bakers, chocolatiers, and fresh market sellers giving way to negotiations with building codes and contractors. Interspersed with his adventures are delicious recipes (with helpful index) such as these: Cherry Flan; Bacon-Green Pea and Tarragon Quiche; Swedish Meatballs; Lemon-Yogurt Cake; Chocolate Soufflé; Mojito Sorbet; Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies; and Swiss Chard Gratin. While it took Lebovitz several years to fully recover from his experiences, he states that in the end, “L’appart”, renewed his Francophile status, and he is fulfilled by his instinctive life choices. The following quote from the author himself paints a telling picture: “Lastly, the story and descriptions are of a certain time in Paris. Paris changes frequently, so some of the incidents, social and business customs, and places mentioned in the book may not be the same as they are today.”

Book Copy Gratis via Blogging for Books
1 vote
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gincam | outras 12 resenhas | Mar 26, 2019 |
It is what it says on the cover: the story of buying a house in Paris. Unfortunately, unlike in the previous book The Sweet Life in Paris which was entertaining, it turns out that house buying in France is complicated and tedious and frustrating, which doesn't make for a particularly humourous or uplifting tale.
 
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rakerman | outras 12 resenhas | Feb 10, 2019 |
Not much to it, but entertaining enough for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I can't tell how much of the book is actually about Paris and how much is Lebovitz being entertaining about Paris. Probably 50/50. Some of the recipes look delicious, especially if you are a fan of rich buttery desserts.
 
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JanetNoRules | outras 47 resenhas | Sep 17, 2018 |
Easy read with hints on apartment hunting in Paris. Tips on survival. Tips on buying veggies and meat. Amusing. And many cooking/baking adventures with recipes. I skipped those.
 
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kerns222 | outras 12 resenhas | May 25, 2018 |