When I heard about Mastering the Art of French Eating, a book about my favorite subjects—moving to Paris and French food—this Francophile could not resist. I tried very hard to make it last by reading just one chapter a day. Not easy, because Ann Mah is a gifted and witty writer.
In each chapter Ann visits a different region in France to learn about and make the area's signature dish, like the Soupe au Pistou she helps prepare with the local Bonnieulaises at the village soup fête. She interweaves history, culture, an amusing cast of characters, lots more recipes and, oh, adjusting to her new life in Paris.
Hungry for more, I found Ann's debut novel, Kitchen Chinese, at my local library. After getting fired from her magazine job in NYC, Isabelle, an American-born Chinese writer nearing thirty, moves to Beijing and lands a job as a food critic for an English-language magazine. There’s romance, sibling rivalry, and lots of meals. The mouth-watering descriptions made me nostalgic for my trip to Beijing and Shanghai. Despite a sore throat that started on the plane and got much worse, I was determined to try every exotic dish that was put in front of me. And I did. Eventually ending up spending an evening in the People's 6th Hospital in Shanghai on an IV drip. That’s an attraction most tourists will never see. But it was worth it. And so is the book!
When I discovered Ann's blog, ANN MAH, Adventures in Food, France and Beyond, I devoured that too. Imagine how excited I was when Ann invited me to share a Tuesday Dinner recipe on the blog.
Cherry Tomato Pasta with Breadcrumbs
Breakfast at Shanghai International Center of Educational Exchange