Book Club : October Selection “Mastering The Art of French Eating”

Introducing the October Book Club Selection “Mastering The Art of French Eating” by Ann Mah.  I first found out about this book a few years back and I read it just before a trip to Paris. I loved the way Ann wrote about Paris and after spending so much time in Paris year after year this book really gave me a lot of back story on French Cuisine. From Steak Frites to Aligot (one of my personal favorites) Ann will explain the history and significance behind 10 French dishes.

If you have ever been to Paris with me or given the “Rebecca Plotnick Tour of Paris” I always involve food and I am full of random facts about Paris. I pride myself on collecting them over the years. I owe a good amount of my food knowledge to my weekly trips to the markets and “Mastering The Art of French Eating” 

Paris can be a very lonely city especially when you don’t know the language. I instantly felt a connection to Ann through the book as she struggled with the French language and the way it felt when she could actually join and carry on a conversation in French.

I recommend reading the book chapter by chapter one at a time. Each is a story in itself. Note: Read on an empty stomach because I can guarantee you will get hungry. Ann says it best, “The story I tell here is of ten different regions of France and their signature dishes, of the link between history and place, culture and cuisine. I chose these ten dishes and regions because of their significance in the United States or, as is the case with Averyron, because of its significance with me” 

I first met Ann at The American Library in Paris not long after I read the book. I had just arrived on a flight from the US and I knew she was hosting an event. I pushed my jet lag body and arrived by myself feeling completely out of my comfort zone. The American Library in Paris plays a part in “Mastering The Art of French Eating” so I felt it was a bit full circle. I stood in the VERY long line just so I could meet Ann and tell her how much I enjoyed the book. I remember passing her my card and mentioning that I would love to work with her one day. I wasn’t quite sure how but I wanted to put the idea out there. 

If you remember earlier this Summer, I hosted an event at Laduree with a group of authors, Ann Mah was one of them. I was delighted when Angie, “Bright Lights Paris” suggested the idea to include Ann. One of my favorite parts of The Every Day Parisian book club has been not reading and hand selecting the books but interacting with the authors. Kristen Beddard of “Bonjour Kale” and Amy Thomas of “Paris My Sweet” were also part of the Laduree event this Summer and it was so much fun hosting with all of these lovely ladies. 

For those of you have been to Paris, planning a trip to Paris, or have never been but enjoy French culture I highly recommend “Mastering the Art of French Eating” There is a bonus at the back of each chapter as Ann includes a recipe that is relevant to the cuisine featured.

I will leave you in the words of Ann Mah “It changed me, of course, living in France – Julia Child could have told me that it would – even though, like a lot of big things, the change crept on me little by little. Bite by bite. Which, I suppose, is the only way to savor life” 

My next goal: dining with Ann Mah… 

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  1. Absolutely LOVED this book! Such a fun read. I liked it so much, I bought a copy for my best friend as we are recovering from our Paris "hangovers" now that we are home and back to reality after a trip there this October. Thank you for posting such a great suggestion. Looking forward to November book club!

    • Katie! I am so happy you enjoyed this one! Ann Mah is pretty fabulous. I still have a few photos to share in an upcoming post of her in her kitchen. I was just dying to see a photo of the apartment. How was your Paris trip? Paris "hangovers" are tough. That is why I started the site, I was homesick. I hope you enjoy next month’s book too. It is very different but an interesting read!