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French Food & Cooking

Are you intimidated by the idea of cooking French haute cuisine? Then try the books below for simple but delicious dishes that are cooked at home and in informal bistros. Or if you are a serious cook, try our French Culinary Classics.

Traveling to France? Try these books about French food in France.

 

Selected Cookbooks

Bocuse, Paul
Bocuse in Your Kitchen: Simple French Recipes for the Home Chef
TX719.B671613 2007x
Translated from the French Bocuse dans Votre Cuisine, author and chef Paul Bocuse has chosen only simple, classic French recipes that are easy to follow and prepare. The book is divided into 15 chapters by type of dish; from soups to meats, vegetables, and desserts, each of the 220 recipes is explained step-by-step.
 
Child, Julia, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
TX719.C454 2001x vol. 1
Originally published in 1961, this is the book from which Julie Powell in the movie Julie and Julia cooked all the recipes. Followed by Volume 2, this was the cookbook and author (Julia Child) that introduced Americans to French Cooking.
 
Dusoulier, Clotilde
Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen
TX719.D867 2007
Clotilde Dusolier, a 27 year-old Parisian, maintains a blog called Chocolate & Zucchini. The book contains 75 recipes including French classics and Dusolier's new creations, like chocolate & zucchini cake.
 
Greenspan, Dorie
Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
q TX719.G758 2010
Greenspan, author of the James Beard Award-winning Baking and a part-time Paris resident, focuses on the food that the French cook at home. The photographs are gorgeous and it's one of NPR's and Washington Post's best cookbooks of 2010. It also won the 2011 Cookbook of the Year Award from the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Dorie Greenspan also has a blog: In the Kitchen and On the Road with Dorie where you can catch up on what she's been cooking and what's up in Paris.
 
Harris, Joanne & Fran Warde
The French Market: More Recipes from a French Kitchen
TX719.H268 2006
Joanne Harris is a British/French novelist and the author of My French Kitchen, a cookbook memoir. This volume of rural food from Gascony is illustrated with wonderfully interesting photographs of the people and region.
 
Healy, Bruce and Paul Bugat
The French Cookie Book: Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Easy and Elegant Cookies
TX772 .H397 1994
Tired of the same old same old? Do you want something besides brownies, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies? This hefty volume offers small batch recipes (generally done by hand and in grams but with US conversions) for smaller, more delicate French cookies. For photographs of the end product you'll want to try some google image searches.
 
Mathiot, Ginette
The Art of French Baking
Another voluminous book from Ginette Mathiot (1907-1998) and Phaidon Press, originally entitled "Je sais faire la patisserie" (I know how to make pastry) and translated and edited by Parisian home cook, Clotilde Dusoulier. You can read more about Ginette Mathiot in this blog post from Gherkins & Tomatoes: Who was Ginette Mathiot? And Why Should You Care?.
 
Mathiot, Ginette
I Know How to Cook
q TX719.M348 2009x
Phaidon Press publishes books that develop biceps. This hefty volume (975 pages) is the English language version of Je Sais Cuisiner, the bible of the French Kitchen first published in 1932. Sometimes the recipes are overly brief but they do give you a real taste of French food.
 
Peltre, Beatrice
La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life
Beatrice Peltre is author/photographer of the Tartine Gourmande blog. So what is a tartine gourmand exactly? Peltre applies it to herself and to the things she likes: "In French, une tartine means an open sandwich with a topping or spread on top. Gourmande is the French to describe anyone who cannot resist food."
 
Peterson, James
Glorious French Food: A Fresh Approach to the Classics
q TX719.P479 2002
It is wise to read the preface and "read this first" sections of this instructional cookbook so that you can more easily navigate its pages. Each of the 50 chapters is about one classic dish that Patterson hopes you have heard of. This recipe is designed to lead you into a series of cooking lessons using that dish as a point of reference. A pork pate introduces you to other terrines, bouillabaisse leads to other fish soups, duck a l'orange starts off duck recipes.
 
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning
TX601.C64313 2007x
"Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation." This was originally published in France in 1992 as Conserves Naturelles des Quatre Saisons by the gardeners & farmers of Terre Vivante, proponents of organic gardening/living. Yes, even France has organic gardeners.
 
Reynaud, Stéphane
French Feasts: 299 Traditional Recipes for Family Meals and Gatherings
q TX719.R437 2009
In France, where eating is a national pastime, the long, leisurely Sunday lunch is a feast for the senses. It is this quality that chef and author Reynaud captures in his extensive and expansive paean to traditional French cooking.
 
Reynaud, Stéphane
Pork & Sons (Cochon & Fils)
q TX749.5.P67 R49313 2007x
Stephane Reynaud was first introduced to the ritual pig killing of rural France by his grandfather when he was 7 years old. This is a tribute to the pig and the recipes are for every part but the squeak, including blood sausage, pig's ear salad, pig's feet, pig's head, as well as more conventional cuts. Lovely photographs and illustrations.
 
Robuchon, Joël
The Complete Robuchon (Tout Robuchon)
TX719.R612513 2008x
Robuchon, a chef whose restaurants hold more Michelin stars than those of any other chef, gives us his supremely authoritative renditions of virtually the entire French culinary repertoire, adapted for the home cook and the contemporary palate. This hefty tome includes more than 800 precise, easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipes.
 
Saveur Cooks Authentic French
TX719.S346 1999
The editors at "Saveur" magazine take readers into the kitchens of France to taste the true Mediterranean flavors of Provence, sample the unique farmhouse cooking of Brittany, savor the sumptuous cuisines of Alsace and Burgundy, and discover many more inspiring regional cuisines.
 
Young, Daniel
Made in Marseille: Food and Flavors from France's Mediterranean Seaport
TX719.2.P75 Y683 2002x
Although Marseilles is in Provence its cuisine is influenced by many immigrants from other parts of the Mediterranean.
 
Willan, Anne
The Country Cooking of France
This hefty cookbook will keep you distracted for weeks.
 
Willan, Anne
La Varenne Pratique: The Complete Illustrated Cooking Course: Techniques, Ingredients, and Tools of Classic Modern Cuisine
q TX719.W5693 1989
Anne Willan is the founder of La Varenne cooking school in France. This book covers basic cooking techniques, is well illustrated with color photographs and includes a recipe for most techniques, many of which are French. It also has a detailed section on fish & shellfish and will show you how to bone meats. Very practical and very easy to use and flip through.
 
Wolfert, Paula
The Cooking Of Southwest France: Recipes From France's Magnificent Rustic Cuisine
TX719.W64 2005
This is an updated version of Wolfert's 1983 classic about the food of Gascony, the Perigord, Bordeaux, and the Basque country. Included are recipes for Cassoulet, Chestnut and Cepe Soup With Walnuts, Oxtail Daube, steamed mussels, Potatoes Baked in Sea Salt, and Prune and Armagnac Ice Cream.
 
Woodward, Sarah
The Food of France: a Regional Celebration
TX719.W66 2006x
The Food of France takes you on an exciting culinary journey, taking you through the regions and the classic dishes that are associated with them.
 
 

Videos

Because of the popularity of Julia Child and Jacques Pepin on public television, the library has many videos that you can view to help you learn to cook. There are even some videos that you can download to your computer using your library card.

 
The Complete Pépin: Techniques and Recipes
Originally produced as a 13-part television series by KQED San Francisco, the 2-DVD collection covers all the essential skills required to become a confident and daring chef.
 
The French Chef
This is the 3 DVD collection of 18 episodes from her original 1960's series. Recipes include French onion soup, Bouillabaisse, Boeuf bourguignon, lobster, omelettes and many more.
 
The French Chef with Julia Child
This is the second set of 18 episodes from the original series. Recipes include Terrines and patés, Cooking your goose, Roast suckling pig, French Crepes, Buche De Noel, French bread and more.
 
Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (DVD)
This set of 4 DVDs presents all 22 episodes of the 1999 KQED television series that brought together two of the world's greatest chefs, covering a vast array of dishes, including chateaubriand, croque monsieur, duck, stuffed cabbage and more.
 

Browse the Catalog

For additional books on French cooking browse the library catalog under the subject headings:

 

Web Sites