Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Meet: David Lebovitz and his book, L'Appart

If you love Paris you already know DAVID LEBOVITZ, probably follow his blog (since 1999), his INSTAGRAM or read his Facebook (I go there before checking the NYTimes) or cook from his many cookbooks. David's latest book L'APART caught my fancy
Its about his first digs in Paris, a double chambre de bonne or maid's room (much like my own mouse hole), his 3-year search for a bigger, better space and the renovations that took place (and are still on-going!). Altogether a very funny book plus recipes.
I have David's book on my kindle so no book signing for me.
David has written 8 glorious cookbooks.
David kept us amused and happy for about 30 minutes. Afterwards a British woman rushed up to me in WH Smith's magazine section, where I go for US nostalgia.
She said, I was 10 minutes late. I've just moved here. What did I miss? 
Huh?
David did not reveal his plumber's name or other details about his renovations. He did tell of his early experiences moving and adjusting to Paris. How he made lists and visited every pastry shop in town. 
When someone asked for his favorite Paris restaurant and patisserie, he didn't tell. His fav restaurant is too small and he wouldnt be able to get in any more. And anyone who lives here for a bit soon discovers there is no one best patisserie in Paris. You go to different places for different things. He did say he loved the chocolatier Fouquet. They make their chocolates on the premises.
I took a Context marché tour with David in 2006. I'd been reading him avidly for a year and had just started Parisbreakfast. With David I got the complete and indepth tour of Marché d'Aligre.
I remember visiting this tiny bean shop in the marché. David knew the owner and all the best items. 
If some fortune teller told me then,"In 10 years you will be living in Paris and mapping this marché" I would have said "Getouttahere!"
If you live in a chambre de bonne you're on the top floor and have gorgeous views like this.
Or like out my window. You're also very hot in summer and freezing in winter...
And you do not have a gorgeous kitchen. This is mine not David's. Fortunately my mini-bar fridge broke last summer and now I have space for ice cubes and even a light inside. Major luxury in Paris.
I was seriously tempted by this proper oven in the vide grenier(street flea) last weekend on boulevarde Saint Germain.
David mentioned he was looking for a new waterheater but his partner won't let him buy a white one. They are used in old age homes. Uh oh...so far Bear hasn't said boo to me.
David's book is full of tips..the little quotidian things you only pick up from living in Paris a while. After I read his tip on the French preference for green beans I ran out to Picard.
Don't you know the petit French woman in front of me, made a bee line over to the vegetable case, opened it, picked out the haricot vert among the multitude of choices and moved on.
Here's another David Lebovitz secret. The absolute best Tarte Tatin in Paris awaits you at Berthillon. They have a smashing chocolate brownie too that must be all ganache. Not a crumb of flour.
We all left david's talk happy and full of Paris secrets.
No matter how tiny your apart is, Paris offers such grand spaces to enjoy. Its the right balance. Iwent to Mont Saint Michel last March after reading David's post on it. Yesterday I painted La mere Poularde copper pots. Read David's book. I know you'll enjoy it too. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward to a friend. I wish I could send you a copper pot from Paris. Get Instead a painted letter in your mailbox and souvenirs too.

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for the fun write-up. It was a great evening - thanks for coming, and for the lovely watercolor!

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    1. You give great talks David.

      It was a pleasure.

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  2. I am glad you posted this. I need to get his latest book. I have some of the recipe books and follow his blog. I love your copper pots.

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  3. Have loved following David for years as he's sensible, fun, interesting and knowledgeable (could one ask for more?). I love My Paris Kitchen - it's a beautiful cookbook- and have l'Appart but haven't had a chance to start it yet. I'd love to hear him speak and get a few of those tips.

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    1. I'Appart is full of David's tips!
      I taped alittle of his talk on FB
      https://www.facebook.com/parisbreakfast/videos/1643526042370388/
      So fun!

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    2. Listened to that & so would have loved being there.

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  4. Thanks for posting this recap - looks like a very fun night!

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    1. David could do 'Stand-up' with the best of em!

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  5. I have a few of his books.. wait..2..maybe I will read this one too..as you have inspired me..He looks like such a nice guy..Fun to see your kitchen too Carol..et tes aquarelles!

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    1. He's like the guy next door (you wish)...very down to earth.

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  6. Cathleen12:28 PM

    I read David's book and loved it! I wish- however- that he would have included before and after pictures - that really would have helped and been a great visual.

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    1. Some readers have mentioned this Cathleen. Someone brought it up and David talked about it at WH Smith. He said it felt a bit invasive, too personal to show too much. The book is more experiential than a renovation guide I suppose. He does reveal a lot about his likes and dislikes.
      I thought it was laugh out-loud funny and you can open it anywhere and start reading..my kind of book.

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  7. Sally V12:41 PM

    Carol...nice post. I have the book and like the recipes.

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  8. Lynn C12:58 PM

    This was fun and I don’t know how you prepare food in that kitchen. I had one in a walk in closet with a window but I got a big frig and stove
    Love your view though.

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  9. Fred S1:29 PM

    The posting on David Leibovitz really captured him.
    Love your copper.

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  10. I was fortunate to meet David in Seatte at a cookbook signing. Very enjoyable!

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  11. Bonnie in CA4:58 AM

    Ahhhhh, Carol, but what a view, and a sweet apart to call home in PARIS where you have a wonderful art space and create such great stuff for all of us. And you are living your dream. Heavenly! I have so much admiration for your move from NYC.

    You have gumption!

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  12. Sharon1:28 PM

    I read David's book. Loved it and it is frightening all the problems with an appartment 're-do'. I hope when I get there, things will be easier

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  13. I recommend Netflix: “Someone Feed Phil” and “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”. (Cannot remember which series...Phil is a travel/foodie-scene with David L. At L’s fav.patisserie and croissant - maybe Bleu Sucre? Or Blu Sucre? Wonderfully entertaining series, both..SharonT.

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    1. It must be the FAB Ble Sucre and French Netflix does not have that episode :((

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  14. Thanks for sharing your talk with D.L. I haven’t read his book so will look it up. Loved seeing a bit of your apartment, I know it’s tiny but it does look quaint and real Paris living. You post so many lovely photos here I don’t ge the feeling it’s tricky. Who needs a big fridge when you can eat a bag of harricots vertes and tarte tatine for dinner, ha ha! Nothing wrong with the white electric kettle, though we have a silver metal one at th moment. Bon weekend!

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    1. You are lucky not to see the other half of my mouse hole!
      Ha
      A bordel as they say here...maybe I should show my work area...more like a rubbish dump😳

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  15. Maria1:24 AM

    Very recently, I returned from France, after being there for a whole month. I want you to know that in every home I've been to there ("français de souche" all of them) they had that white water heater jug...exactly like yours...

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  16. I really like your home, Miss Carol! And for a person of your caliber...your Potosi - as the poets say - lies in your art and in your heart.
    A belated Happy Valentines Day for you!

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    1. Ha! I did not know of this expression Maria :))
      Most kind.
      would you like to see more of my 'home"?

      The city gave rise to a Spanish expression, still in use: vale un Potosí, ("to be worth a Potosí") meaning "to be of great value". The rich mountain, Cerro Rico, produced an estimated 60% of all silver mined

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