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Apr 8, 2013 11:08 PM

French cookbooks ?

I'm looking for some exceptionally good cookbooks to look for while in Paris and maybe bring back home. Really special books that worth the hassle, if there are :-) Categories may go from chef and restaurants books, french cooking from traditional to modern, and ice cream and pastry books. Maybe stuff that is hard to find with editions only distributed in France, i will do translations which is much easier today, or come back here to ask about complicated terms :-) I preffer books with great visuals of course.. Regarding pastry, saw that Concitini has several books including La Patisserie Des Reves, but for some reasons the reviews seem medicore.. Would love to get recs for other pastry chefs also, that their books are worthy and hard to find outside of France. Thanks !

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  1. My favorite bookiniste in Paris carries IMHO the finest collection of cooking and food related books l have seen in France. He is on the left bank side of the Seine just west from of Pont Neuf, thus on Q de Conti.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Great, will pass there :-) By bookiniste you mean the vendors lined along the bank ? Never thought about checking more seriously there, and actually don't know why not.. Are those new books or used ?

      1. re: oferl

        The primary destination for French cookbooks is, naturally, the Librairie Gourmande on 92-96 rue Montmartre.
        It has all the new issues, as well as a good stock of antique and second-hand books left from previous owners of this rather old institution.

        That bouquiniste along the bank (the one on quai de Conti) has good stuff but is horribly expensive, thought it might be interesting just to browse… and then find similar items at other bouquinistes (the ones on the right bank, between Hôtel de Ville and Ile Saint-Louis, are somewhat cheaper, though never cheap). There are gems to be found.

        The best collections of antique French food-related books that you may see in France are not in Paris, unless you are aiming at the most expensive items, in which case you should go admire the volumes at Rémi Flachard's bookstore, 9 rue du Bac.

        The best bookstores for that kind of books are in Périgueux (Henri-Pierre Millescamps), Montmorillon (Le Festin de Babette) and Lausanne in Switzerland (Gasterea). All three have websites and catalogues.

        To stay in Paris - of course there's plenty of old and newer French food-related books at the weekly Marché du livre ancien et d'occasion at the Parc Georges-Brassens, every weekend from 9 to 6. 104 rue de Brancion, in the 15th. The browsing is fun and sometimes fascinating but be aware that the prices are already set pretty high and you're unlikely to find any bargains there. Food books are very, very sought-after.

        1. re: Ptipois

          Thanks, that's great :-) And i'm back at the patisserie stuff - any books that are like "holy grail" in this section, aim for the professionals but still approachable to serious amateurs ?

          1. re: oferl

            No patisserie book, AFAIK, is accurate. Most pastry chefs keep a few little secrets hidden so the recipes are never 100% correct.

            The exception I can vouch for is Christophe Felder, whose books include perfectly accurate recipes. I would recommend any of his publications, all the more since he published a big compendium of all aspects of French pâtisserie a few years ago.

            I believe Christophe Michalak's books are also worth acquiring (though I am not a fan of his pastries).

            La Librairie Gourmande has a large collection of pâtisserie books and takes good care of it (that's a best-selling category).

            1. re: Ptipois

              Thanks, I took a look at Felder's site and for sure will be glad to take a look at his books while visiting LLG.

    2. You can order from Shipping is a bit pricey, if you are going to be in France, of course you can save.

      There is also this guy:

      There is a magazine published by Yves Thuriès, a grand chef from Cordes-sur-Ciel. He has closed his great restaurant, sadly, but still publishes the magazine, with recipes from great chefs all over France. Very slick, and very beautiful. In French.

      David Lebovitz has also highly recommended Gasterea in Switzerland...

      BTW, can you deal with recipe books in French?