By Mimi Thorisson
Published by Clarkson Potter
Back Cover: With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.
When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store.. She found a beautiful country side with wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, a slower pace of life and time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.
REVIEW: I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that is as much fun to look at and read as it is to make the yummy recipes inside. Here is the book trailer that introduces you to Mimi and her cooking adventures.
The author says, “Ever since I was a little girl I have been deeply passionate about food. My childhood was largely spent scurrying between the restaurants of Hong Kong, where I grew up, and the bistros of Paris and the south of France where we spent our holidays at my French grandmother’s. Food was constantly on my mind, I’m the girl who was always happiest at the table. After a life full of adventure and travel, a career in fashion, media and television, I settled down in Paris with Oddur, my Icelandic photographer husband…. A big family needs a lot of space (she has five children, two older step children)….. we went looking for a bigger place to live, and found one … in Médoc. Moving to the country was not planned at all, but we took the leap and it’s been some sort of fairytale ever since – you should try it! I’ve been doing a lot of cooking in these last four years, to glowing reviews (my family are very kind) and around 2 years ago I felt the need to share my culinary experiences with some friends and perhaps a few others. So Manger was born and while the rest may not be history it’s my story and my family’s….”
After a career in T.V. and having lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Reykjavik and Paris, she has settled down in a farm house in Medoc where she adjusted to not having a hair dresser down stairs, no bakery on the corner but she did have a fireplace in every room of her farm house, and thousands of roses climbing up the wall and decorating on side of the house. She became more aware of season changes and the pleasure each season brought. She grows her own vegetables and fruit. She started to eat the fruits and veggies highlighted by the season in which they shined. This cookbook, “chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse with beautifully photographed by her husband, Oddur.”
I made the Butternut Gratin. My family and I loved it. It was simple with easy to find ingredients, it was flavorful and everyone was delighted by the taste. I like the stories behind the recipe the author shares before the actual recipe instructions start. Her directions are easy to follow and most of the ingredients are easy to find. This is a book about French cooking and several of the recipes call for ingredients that will have you looking in places you don’t normally shop. I found some pastries and desserts require more time to create than I have time for during the week. I plan on making some of them for the weekend when I have more time to cook and my family has more time to enjoy the fruit of my labor.
I loved the beautiful camera shots of Mimi, her family and Medoc France. I haven’t been there but it looks like a great get away. I felt like I've experienced a little bit of the country side through this book and the video’s I've included in this review.
This author has a cooking show filmed in France. I found a youtube video of the show in French and one in English. This gives you a sample of how easily she moves around in the kitchen and how simples some of recipes are to make. This book is an experience you won’t want to miss and taste once you've made her meals!