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On rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis
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On rue Tatin

by Susan Herrmann Loomis

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Reminds me of Under the Tuscan Sun. Beautiful food writing and the descriptions of the renovation process on an old house were very interesting. ( )
  Hanneri | Feb 29, 2016 |
oh, i am such a francophile. i've got it bad for les francais. and this is a book after my own heart, wherein a chef moves to suburban france - always so much nicer than suburban america - and, ultimately, opens her own cooking school after navigating the vagaries of tricky ovens and farmer's markets.

the recipes included (& listed in a handy recipe index) are delightful - i have had wonderful success with the clafoutis, the leek-and-goat-cheese-stuffed apples, and the crescent rolls. "you didn't make these yourself, did you?" why yes, as a matter of fact, i did. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
oh, i am such a francophile. i've got it bad for les francais. and this is a book after my own heart, wherein a chef moves to suburban france - always so much nicer than suburban america - and, ultimately, opens her own cooking school after navigating the vagaries of tricky ovens and farmer's markets.

the recipes included (& listed in a handy recipe index) are delightful - i have had wonderful success with the clafoutis, the leek-and-goat-cheese-stuffed apples, and the crescent rolls. "you didn't make these yourself, did you?" why yes, as a matter of fact, i did. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
oh, i am such a francophile. i've got it bad for les francais. and this is a book after my own heart, wherein a chef moves to suburban france - always so much nicer than suburban america - and, ultimately, opens her own cooking school after navigating the vagaries of tricky ovens and farmer's markets.

the recipes included (& listed in a handy recipe index) are delightful - i have had wonderful success with the clafoutis, the leek-and-goat-cheese-stuffed apples, and the crescent rolls. "you didn't make these yourself, did you?" why yes, as a matter of fact, i did. ( )
  cat-ballou | Apr 2, 2013 |
I really enjoy travel writing- some of which has really engaged me and a lot of which I have found exceedingly dull and without imagination or character. For me, this book definitely fell into the first category. As a food writer and chef, Loomis writes beautifully with vivid descriptions of sights, sounds and particularly the tastes and smells of France. This is escapist writing at its best, though it left me feeling very hungry, though if you are that way inclined, this book does handily encompass some of the mouth-watering recipes Loomis talks about.

Admittedly, not a lot happens, so don't expect a fast-paced read- it is more a recount of Loomis and her family moving to a small French town (Louviers) and their trials and tribulations of trying to restore a tumbledown house as well as fit in with the locals. Full of Gallic flavour, it charmingly recaps details of their day to day lives at such a gentle pace that you feel you could be walking right alongside them and exploring the town. I particularly enjoyed Loomis discussing the French market and seasonal produce. I would love to go to Louvier one day after reading this book.

The book is also full of quirky, memorable characters and amusing anecdotes. If I had one criticism it would be that though Loomis does indicate some minor troubles that they faced as `foreigners' settling in, it does not go into too great a depth which would have maybe made the book feel less `charming' perhaps. The book manages to retain a light hearted feel throughout and is full of stories of eager and welcoming neighbours who then become close friends- she and her family seem to have been accepted into the area immediately, though often in other travel books I have read this has not been the case. Call me cynical but I suspect that the encounter with the priest next door was perhaps a bit more problematic than was written about here!

Overall though, this was such a lovely, escapist read and most definitely a must read for foodies! I would really love to read more memoirs by Loomis in future and will most definitely be giving some of the featured recipes ago. I think if you need a book to curl up with, transport yourself somewhere new and forget about the cold weather outside, then this is the travel book for you. ( )
  CookieDemon | Mar 12, 2012 |
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I dedicate this book first and foremost to my partner in life, Michael, and our two wonderful, humorous, and, above all, adaptable children, Joe and Fiona. I also dedicate this book to Louviers and its inhabitants, for making room for us.
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The story of our adventure, our move to rue Tatin, began some thirteen years earlier, when I first went to live in Paris.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767904559, Paperback)

It has been said that food defines a culture. For the French, food is an integral part of their coveted tradition, and Susan Herrmann Loomis's new book On Rue Tatin embraces both. As a young, recent American college graduate, Loomis left the U.S. for France to attend one of the oldest French cooking schools, La Varenne. Her intent was to immerse herself in French cooking with the aspiration of becoming a food critic. Working as the French equivalent of an apprentice, she quickly became intimate with the ways and traditions that define the French culture, specifically its cuisine. On Rue Tatin ("On Tatin Street") is a descriptive narrative of Loomis's first several years in France, her encounters with the local people, and the bonds she formed, as well as recipes she gathered during her time there.

Following her formal culinary training, Loomis returned to the U.S. and met the man who would become her husband. After the couple's first son turned 2, they moved to France where Loomis was determined to launch her writing career focusing on unique aspects of French farming cuisine. She and her husband eventually purchased an old monastery in Louviers in the Normandy region of France. One of the more humorous and memorable stories she shares concerns the landlord of the small rental that they occupied for a year while her husband remodeled the monastery to livable conditions. During that year, the wife of the landlord believed them to be CIA agents and chose to keep a cold distance from the family. Meanwhile the French police suspected them of dealing drugs.

Every recipe featured throughout this memoir comes with an interesting, anecdotal story, and is very much representative of traditional French cuisine. Gateau au Chocolat de Mamy (or Mamy Jacqueline's Chocolate Cake) is a dense, almost death-by-chocolate confection, but served alone or with a fresh fruit coulis, it will bring a smile, as will the sweet explanation of its origin.

Loomis describes experiences and people with much detail, sometimes several times over, and her prose allows the reader to imagine the tempting smells and vivid colors of the countryside. You may find yourself wishing to see pictures of Loomis's home and the quaint village where she lived, but perhaps that was Loomis's intent--she wants to tempt and challenge you to experience the beauty and foods of Louviers and the Normandy region for yourself. --Teresa Simanton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:26 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne École de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. On Rue Tatin chronicles her journey to an ancient little street in Louviers, one of Normandy’s most picturesque towns. With lyrical prose and wry candor, Loomis recalls the miraculous restoration that she and her husband performed on the dilapidated convent they chose for their new residence. As its ochre and azure floor tiles emerged, challenges outside the dwelling mounted. From squatters to a surly priest next door, along with a close-knit community wary of outsiders, Loomis tackled the social challenges head-on, through persistent dialogue–and baking. On Rue Tatin includes delicious recipes that evoke the essence of this region, such as Apple and Thyme Tart, Duck Breast with Cider, and Braised Chicken in White Wine and Mustard. Transporting readers to a world where tradition is cherished, On Rue Tatin provides a touching glimpse of the camaraderie, exquisite food, and simple pleasures of daily life in a truly glorious corner of Normandy.… (more)

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