The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple but Classic French Recipes

Like hundreds of chefs, London native Rachel Khoo moved to Paris to study pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. After finishing her course, she didn't want to leave. Working at a culinary bookshop and catering for the store's salon de thé, Khoo forged a career as a self-styled "food creative." She develops recipes, caters for events large and small and hosts pop-up restaurants in her apartment, which provides the title to The Little Paris Kitchen--a fresh, simplified take on traditional French dishes with a few original inventions.

The first section, "Everyday Cooking," is a collection of simple, nourishing recipes to whip up for lunch or brunch. Classics like ratatouille and steak tartare appear alongside dishes spiked with a touch of whimsy, such as eggs baked in teacups or a tricolored shepherd's pie. The next section, "Snack Time," provides sweet and savory ideas for the French tradition of le goȗter (the afternoon treat); from savory cheese puffs to Proustian madeleines, Khoo's menu has something for everyone.

Gorgeous full-color photo spreads accompany the recipes: Khoo exploring farmer's markets, visiting cafes, testing recipes in her petite cuisine. Sections on summer picnics, aperitifs, hearty dinners and dessert round out the collection, and she finishes with a handy section on French basics (stocks, sauces and crème pâtissière) at the back. The photos may make readers long for Paris, but the recipes will have them tying on an apron to try their hand at une petite cuisine française. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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