American ex-pat David Lebovitz is on this side of the pond promoting his newest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 346 pp., $35), with a sold-out class and two book signings at Central Market (4001 N. Lamar) this weekend.
Lebovitz has such a strong following in Austin that this week's class sold out only a couple of hours after being announced. The store has added two more events just to make him available to as many fans as possible. He will sign books on the sales floor in the bakery on Friday, April 25 from 4:30-6:00pm. Then on Saturday, April 26, Lebovitz will host a Champagne meet and greet in the cooking school from 11am-1:30pm, which costs $10 plus the price of the book. Sales will be limited to stock on hand, so show up early.
Fans of David's internationally famous blog and his other cookbooks will want to add My Paris Kitchen to their culinary library. It's written with the same insight and wry sense of humor as his other works, detailing his exasperation at having the French attempt to educate a former Chez Panisse pastry chef about the meaning of "farm-to-table," and offering an ex-pat's take on the changes in French gastronomy since the advent of le fast food.
The book includes recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts, reflecting the current culinary influences available in an international city such as Paris. David's stories take us to the market where African and Arab immigrants (and an American ex-pat) go to purchase their chilies and spices and explain his changing allegiances to the myriad brands of Dijon mustard France has to offer.
As inviting as I found the chapter on vegetables, I find myself gravitating towards the dessert recipes in any work by this accomplished pastry chef. There are some individual chocolate cakes with salted caramel sauce as well as a chocolate salted caramel tart I'm dying to try and recipes for buttermilk ice cream and madeleines that are calling my name. There are also a couple of preparations incorporating fresh apricots that will have me hustling to the farmers' market when they are available here. As always, a cookbook by David Lebovitz is one to savor.
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