French roots cookbook review

This charming cookbook filled with lovely life stories from Jean-Pierre and Denise Moulle traces the couple’s history from France to California. If you love recipes with a story along the way, you’ll love this cookbook.

The love story narration from the authors makes you wish you were a bystander on the street corner in Berkeley where they first met, or as a line chef learning from the talented Jean-Pierre during his time at Chez Panisse as Executive Chef, or perhaps just a frequent guest at their home in Sonoma where they cook the classic dishes of Moulles’ native country.


There is even a section on the wines of Bordeaux, that is a special added bonus.

The book is also more than just recipes in that we are given instruction on cooking a duck from “beak to tail” and more. In fact, the entire first chapters give us a glimpse of the authors’ pantry and kitchen essentials, cooking techniques from sautéing to braising, and while that may be very interesting reading, then the real fun begins.

I must say, if you are a beginner cook, this book and its French techniques may overwhelm, for there are ambitious recipes like Duck Rillettes, Leg of Veal with Mushrooms, Lamb Cassoulet Southwest Style and an Onion Tart with Anchovies, Olives , and Thyme (all of which made me salivate but may not be for the non-foodie soul).

Also, many of the ingredients, like eel, lamb, duck, and monkfish are not so readily available at your local American neighborhood grocer.

If you are adventurous however and love French food and can seek out some truly scrumptious ingredients, you will be tempted by recipes like Duck Confit with Fried Potatoes which Jean-Pierre lets you know is their go-to dinner for guests as they keep 12 duck legs’ worth readily available in their refrigerator at all times.

Don’t you just love French hospitality?

french Roots makes one long for the history, the love of life,and a perfect companionship with someone who shares your love of cuisine, preparing it with zeal, sustainability and the love of fine wine and aperitif that Jean-Pierre and Denise Moulle have.

If you love the love story of food, you will want to pick up this book.

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