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Eat Well in the City of Light
The Food Lover's Guide to the Gourmet Secrets of Paris
by Kate Whiteman

Reviewed by Margaret Galvan

The Food Lover’s Guide to the Gourmet Secrets of Paris

Kate Whiteman’s The Food Lover’s Guide to the Gourmet Secrets of Paris is no ordinary travel book. While some guide books provide only enough information for the vacation’s duration, this gorgeous travel-cum-cookbook combines reviews for the best food shops and restaurants in nine delineated sections of Paris with recipes that you can cook up once home from your trip. Whiteman focuses not only on traditional French cuisine but also on the cosmopolitan nature of the city, providing recipes for Chicken tagine and rare beef pho alongside Coq au Vin and Parisian-style scallops.

Her emphasis on the city’s culinary diversity extends into her reviews, as she features ethnic-food shops and a dozen open-air markets, whose character and vendors change depending on the quartier. Such diversity is sure to please gourmands of all stripes, yet the guide makes the same faux pas that many guidebooks do in omitting some portions of Paris, like the Belleville neighborhood, its gastronomic secrets hidden from tourists due to this exclusion. Even so, most food-minded travelers will find what they need from this guide: popular fromageries (cheese shops), pâtisseries (pastry shops), charcuteries and boucheries (meat shops), and boulangeries (bakeries); a wide-array of restaurants, bistros, brasseries, and cafés; and a list of famed landmarks, whose descriptions include notes on where to eat nearby. Plan on getting yourself a Plan de Paris, a comprehensive pocket-sized city map sold at most Parisian newspaper kiosks; Whiteman’s book does not include métro stops for any of her reviewed locations. All of these reviews and the recipes make it possible for you to take Paris home with you and recreate the smells and tastes of the city in your own kitchen.

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(Updated: 06/30/08 HC)

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