Wednesday, May 15, 2013

David Downie’s PARIS TO THE PYRENEES is one of The Sunday Times’ Travel Books of the Month:

Downie is a long-term American expat living in France and Italy, whose previous books have focused on food and Paris. For this one, he headed into the countryside on foot, following one of the many routes that used to feed into Europe’s most popular pilgrim networks. But it’s the act of walking with his photographer wife, the pleasures of the French countryside, the lighting out for the territory when one is a certain age, that give this book its reason, more than religion and pilgrims (and how could it be otherwise with a self-proclaimed “freethinker and an agnostic fallen Catholic”?). The narrative lingers over Downie’s passion for food and drink, sweeping views and history. He is an amiable companion, questioning and willing, and flawed, too — a damaged back and aching knees force him to stop just outside Mâcon, less than a third of the way to Compostela. They eventually make it to the Pyrenees, but, once again, it’s not the destination but the pleasures and revelations of the journey that matter.

David Downie’s PARIS TO THE PYRENEES is one of The Sunday Times’ Travel Books of the Month:

Downie is a long-term American expat living in France and Italy, whose previous books have focused on food and Paris. For this one, he headed into the countryside on foot, following one of the many routes that used to feed into Europe’s most popular pilgrim networks. But it’s the act of walking with his photographer wife, the pleasures of the French countryside, the lighting out for the territory when one is a certain age, that give this book its reason, more than religion and pilgrims (and how could it be otherwise with a self-proclaimed “freethinker and an agnostic fallen Catholic”?). The narrative lingers over Downie’s passion for food and drink, sweeping views and history. He is an amiable companion, questioning and willing, and flawed, too — a damaged back and aching knees force him to stop just outside Mâcon, less than a third of the way to Compostela. They eventually make it to the Pyrenees, but, once again, it’s not the destination but the pleasures and revelations of the journey that matter.






Wednesday, February 6, 2013
If you’re a crazy-smart reader, you should read this book. Oprah says so.
Read the review in O Magazine || Learn more about the book

If you’re a crazy-smart reader, you should read this book. Oprah says so.

Read the review in O Magazine || Learn more about the book






Monday, July 16, 2012

Everything Bad for You Tastes Delicious

Gerry Dryansky, who wrote this appetizing, evocative, eccentric paean to Gallic gastronomy with his wife and literary collaborator, Joanne, apparently didn’t get the memo. He hasn’t heard that cream sauces are poisonous, that foie gras is immoral, that cassoulet and choucroûte garni and tripes à la môde de Caen are fusty museum pieces best remembered, if at all, as indigestible relics of an unenlightened age. Unseduced by the new cuisines of Spain, Denmark or Peru, or by most of the culinary goings-on even in France (his adopted home), Mr. Dryansky apparently still thinks that traditional French cooking has merit, that it is something worth seeking out and enjoying and helping to preserve.

Thank goodness.

Coquilles, Calva, & Crème" (meaning scallops or shellfish in general, the great Norman apple brandy called Calvados, and of course that deadly cream) is an evocation of the kind of cooking that made French food famous in the first place. It comes garnished with two subtitles—”Exploring France’s Culinary Heritage” and “A Love Affair With Real French Food”—and most of its pages are indeed devoted to such exploration and to expressions of such love.

This Wall Street Journal review is making us hungry.






Friday, July 13, 2012





Tuesday, July 3, 2012




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jerome Charyn speaks about crime and New York in this interview.