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New York Times star food writer Melissa Clark breaks down the new French classics with 150 recipes that reflect a modern yet distinctly French sensibility.
“Melissa Clark’s contemporary eye is just what the chef ordered. Her recipes are traditional yet fresh, her writing is informative yet playful, and the whole package is achingly chic.”—Yotam Ottolenghi
Just as Julia Child brought French cooking to twentieth-century America, so now Melissa Clark brings French cooking into the twenty-first century. She first fell in love with France and French food as a child; her parents spent their August vacations traversing the country in search of the best meals with Melissa and her sister in tow. Near to her heart, France is where Melissa's family learned to cook and eat. And as her own culinary identity blossomed, so too did her understanding of why French food is beloved by Americans.
Now, as one of the nation's favorite cookbook authors and food writers, Melissa updates classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop, and eat today. With recipes such as Salade Nicoise with Haricot Vert, Cornmeal and Harissa Soufflé, Scalloped Potato Gratin, Lamb Shank Cassoulet, Ratatouille Sheet-Pan Chicken, Campari Olive Oil Cake, and Apricot Tarte Tatin (to name a few), Dinner in French will quickly become a go-to resource and endure as an indispensable classic.
About the Author
Melissa Clark is the author of Dinner, Dinner in an Instant, and Comfort in an Instant and is a staff writer for the New York Times Food section, where she writes their wildly popular food column, “A Good Appetite.” The winner of multiple James Beard and IACP awards, Melissa is the host of the “Weeknight Kitchen” podcast on The Splendid Table. Melissa earned an MFA in writing from Columbia, and her work has been selected for the Best American Food Writing. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
“Dinner in French is an invitation to travel with Melissa to the country she knows well and loves deeply, and to cook with your heart. Her recipes toggle between high and homey—I love when she says she adds ‘a dose of Brooklyn moxie’ to France’s ‘buttery haute cuisine.’ But what I love most is what you get from this mix: Food you’ll want to cook and share all the time, anywhere you are.”—Dorie Greenspan
“Oozing with charm, enthusiasm, and deep-rooted expertise as only she has, Dinner in French may just be my favorite Melissa Clark cookbook of all! Her palpable adoration for French cooking and the intuitive way she adapts it to her Brooklyn life make each recipe more approachable and alluring than the next. No need for a plane ticket to France when you can get in the kitchen with Melissa and savor all of this glorious food! Vive la cuisine!”—Gail Simmons
“Dinner in French is a joy-filled love letter to France and a portrait of what it can do for a fledgling cook. Melissa Clark is never sentimental, though—her love is the result of a profound understanding of the French way with food, and a curious intelligence. There are classic recipes here but also plenty I was unaware of, and Melissa brings her own touches to many dishes. You’ll want to book a flight to Paris or Marseille, or at least spend a weekend in a pool of sunlight, reading every word. Moving as well as inspiring.”—Diana Henry
“If you have ever dreamed of spending a summer eating/cooking in France, Dinner in French is as close as you can get without traveling there. Every recipe brings French cooking alive.”—Tom Colicchio
“Dinner in French could also be called the dinner that you want to eat tonight, this Saturday, and this Sunday, and actually every week and every season. Clark has an uncanny facility to translate complex dishes into their straightforward essentials, and with enough hunger and longing that, like a spell, she makes you want to make them. The cookbook is so appealing it will drive you a little crazy.”—Bill Buford
“A superb addition to [Clark’s] cookbook repertoire. Whether they are classic French staples, such as Niçoise salad and scalloped potato gratin, or inspired twists on the classics, such as wine-braised chicken with orange and olives or crème fraîche caramels, each recipe is a hit. . . . Clark also provides dozens of helpful make-ahead tips. . . . Equally inviting are her introductions to each recipe, which are filled with fun anecdotes (“It took a long time for me to agree to taste a snail”) and even more helpful tips (“If tarragon isn’t your favorite herb, you can use chives”). This remarkable volume will entice avid home cooks to return to it time and again.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The French canon, but make it Brooklyn. Dinner in French is the invigorating, mouthwatering best of two worlds that Melissa Clark brings together like no one else. I can’t wait to start cooking.”—Lauren Collins
“Whether you're craving bistro fare or a trip to Paris, you will love this joyful panoply of modern French recipes. Dinner in French reinvents the classics with Melissa Clark’s signature sparkle, clever cooking techniques, and fresh flavors. Finally, the secrets behind simple, spectacular, seasonal French home cooking are available to all of us every day.”—Ann Mah