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Book Spotlight: Mastering the Art of French Eating

This is journalist Ann Mah's account of her years living in Paris as an expat.  Her husband, a foreign diplomat, has been stationed in France on a diplomatic assignment, but not long after their arrival he is called away to Iraq on a separate year-long assignment.  Ann remains behind in France, escaping her fears and loneliness by exploring French regions and discovering recipes for each region's signature dishes:

In Lyon, la salade lyonnaise:


In Provence, soupe au pistou:


In Brittany, crêpes:

By Kamel15 (Own work) [GPL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In Paris Steak frites


 ...and many others.


Mah's narrative is a combination of personal memoir, travel writing and food journal.  As a skilled journalist, Mah recounts her experiences with astute powers of observation and entertaining storytelling.  Her style has an attractive contemplative quality that draws the reader in.  She shares comical moments, poignant reflections and even some wonderfully awkward situations.  

Mastering the Art of French Eating provided me with a unique opportunity to accompany Mah on her journeying through France.  I vicariously experienced regional cultures and cuisines with her through this book.  I would gladly recommend the same journey to anyone interested in exploring France.  I am confident that you will find Mah a great travel companion!


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