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Oct 7, 2009 02:26 PM

French Food Magazines, Cookbooks

I'm spending the semester in Lyon, France, and being separated from my shelf of cookbooks and food magazines (not to mention the recent news of Gourmet's passing) has made me hungry to go looking for some great French food tomes and serials.

So far, I've fallen in love with Elle à Table, which is a cooking/lifestyle magazine branch of Elle magazine that comes off as cool, approachable, and current. I love the compromise between planned messiness and meticulous styling.

Other than that (which only comes out every 2 months), I'm pretty clueless, and find myself facing two questions:

1) Any great French food/cooking/food writing magazines that anyone knows of? A lot of the magazines here come wrapped in plastic because of supplements, so I can't just leaf through like I would in the US.

2) Any great (but approachable) French cookbooks? I'm not a bad cook and I love to spend hours in the kitchen (aka I don't want any super-beginner cookbooks), but I don't really ever have time to do so as a college student, though I can appreciate intense cookbooks for their educational value and as inspiration. I've heard positive things about "Je sais cuisiner," but I may wait to buy the English translation for measurement reasons. I've got a book by Hervé This (Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor) already, and I love it, more for its scientific enrichment than its practical value, though I love the chantilly chocolat recipe!

Language isn't a problem, so if you've got any suggestions, I'd be happy to voraciously dive into any exciting French food media, reporting back if anyone is interested!

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  1. Several Joël Robuchon books have been issued as inexpensive paperbacks, most of them in the Livre de Poche series: Le Meilleur et le plus simple de la France (an overview of French provincial cuisine), Le Meilleur et le plus simple de Joël Robuchon (published in English as Simply French), Le Meilleur et le plus simple de la pomme de terre (an all-potato cookbook), Cuisinez comme un grand chef (three volumes, based on a TV series in which he hosted a different chef for each episode), Recettes de grands chefs (ditto), etc. There's also a recent, more expensive hardback compendium of many of his cookbooks, Tout Robuchon.

    Also, the translations of several of Patricia Wells books are available in paperback editions far cheaper than the English-language originals: Les 200 meilleurs recettes de bistrot (Bistro Cooking), Ma cuisine en Provence (PW at Home in Provence) and Recettes des marchés et restaurants de Paris (The Paris Cookbook). It may seem strange to recco an américaine in translation but most of the books have been best sellers in France and all are mainly collections of recipes Wells obtained from local chefs and cooks.

    Various Elle recipes have been published in collections over the years. The original series of Fiches-cuisine ELLE -- 14 or so Livre de Poche volumes, each with 100 recipes around a theme (braised dishes, regional dishes, recipes from top restaurants, red meats, white meats, fish and shellfish, quick and easy dishes, etc.) is probably out of print. A new series titled Les nouvelles Fiches-cuisine ELLE has also appeared. Some or all of these fiches have been collected in a CD-ROM (don't know if it's still available). While a number of the recipes in the original series are outdated, many have become part of my repertoire.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carswell

      If not too late, I would recommand " Regal magazine". It's very nice and not wrapped. There are simple french recipes, explanation about prodcuts as well.
      For book I love " Cuisine mei wenti French cookbook". It was written by a French women who used to teach expats in Europe, Asia,... There are bascis as well as recipes more elaborated. The way the recipes are written is easy, different from many french books.
      There is also a very good one " The food of France". It exists for every country. It's the kind of food you find in restaurants, so very tipical.
      Hope it helps !