Comments: How many of us have thought of transporting our lives and careers to Paris and living to tell about it? American pastry chef (now writer) David Lebovitz has done just that, and chronicles more than half-a-dozen years of Parisian adventures with wit and charm. His tiny apartment, his battles with bureaucracy, language challenges, clothing challenges, access to the world's great foods, and daily interactions with the people of Paris make you wonder both how he has managed to hold out for so long and why you aren't living in his shoes.
The 50 included recipes are not the point of the book, but they are exceptionally well written. Would that every (most/many/some) cookbook recipes were as well described! Having said that, the recipes must be considered a mish-mash. You might expect all dessert recipes in a pastry chef's book (and most are). You might expect all French recipes in a book about Paris. Or you might expect all American recipes in a book by an American. But you find Braised Turkey in Beaujolais Nouveau with Prunes, Peanut Slaw, Pork Ribs, Venetian-Style Sardines with Onions and Raisins, and others that are at least unexpected, along with, admittedly, a lot of recipes that prominently feature chocolate.
Interestingly and ironically, there are about 918 references to his brownies Americain, and how many squeaky wheels (recalcitrant Frenchmen and women) he has greased with them – and then right at the end of the book his recipe turns out to be not at all classic American brownies. They are Dulce de Leche Brownies, made with the caramelized sweetened milk or confiture de lait – milk jam. They may be delicious, but they cannot be called American – even if brownies are only American!