In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman–and never went home again.
Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pavé au poivre, the steak’s pink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce? LUNCH IN PARIS is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs–one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé) and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese-there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.
Peppered with mouth-watering recipes for summer ratatouille, swordfish tartare and molten chocolate cakes, Lunch in Paris is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home. In the delicious tradition of memoirs like A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, this book is the perfect treat for anyone who has dreamed that lunch in Paris could change their life.
Lunch in Paris was a wonderful memoir about life in France. For the lovers of everything French, “Lunch in Paris” is a nice pastime. Elizabeth Bard wrote up the story of her romance leading to a happy marriage with a Frenchman, lacing it with many recipes for French food.
In a lot of ways, this is a memoir about depression. Elizabeth loses her own self-identity to that of France. She doesn’t know what to do with herself because she is so lost in the quagmire of an new culture. At times, she throws herself into her husband’s career, trying to forget the fact that she has no direction of her own. Eventually, Elizabeth finds her solace in French cooking, in the simplicity of the markets she visits daily. (That’s what the above video is..)
The recipes in Lunch in Paris are delectable. I haven’t made any yet, but I’m eager to try some of them and see how wonderful they really are.
While Lunch in Paris is self-indulgent, it’s also a wonderful travel memoir of another culture. It’s a fun read about the search for self-identity. I definitely recommend it for those who enjoy light memoirs, or those about food.
Elizabeth Bard is an American journalist based in Paris. She has written about art, travel and digital culture for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Wired, Time Out and The Huffington Post. She makes a mean chocolate soufflé.