Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris

Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris

The memoir of a young diplomat’s wife who must reinvent her dream of living in Paris—one dish at a time

"Excellent ingredients, carefully prepared and very elegantly served. A really tasty book."
—Peter Mayle, author of The Marseille Caper and A Year in Provence

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Lights is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city. Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Like Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French and Julie Powell’s New York Times bestseller Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love—of food, family, and France.

Title:Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

About Ann Mah

Ann Mah is a journalist and novelist based in Paris and Washington, D.C. She is a regular contributor to New York Times Travel, and her articles have also appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, The Best American Travel Writing 2017, Washingtonian magazine,,,, and other publications.

    Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Ann Mah ended up in Paris when her husband was placed there in a diplomatic role. During that time, he was sent to Baghdad on a year-long assignment, leaving her in Paris by herself. I wish that had b...

  • Marisa

    I wanted this book to be good. I really did. The title is so catchy and who doesn't love France and it's wonderful cuisine?But it was, in fact, a disappointment.While I enjoyed the way the author trav...

  • Doreen

    Anne Mah is an excellent food writer. Reading as she traveled through the regions and cuisines of France, I wanted so much of the food, so much of the time. Even took an afternoon to drive out w my ki...

  • LillyBooks

    I'm torn a little about what to rate this book. It's book about living and working and shopping and cooking and eating in Paris, which is one of my favorite topics, so it it ought to be at least a fou...

  • Claire

    I was lucky enough to read an early copy of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING. It's fascinating and fun and eloquent, and so filled with love and heart. I'm neither a foodie nor a Francophile, but th...

  • Allison6876

    I'm giving this 3 stars for the vignettes regarding the dishes. These were very enjoyable. However the "poor me" whining about being lonely was extremely irritating and caused me to have an internal d...

  • MaryJane Brodeck

    If you are Francophile, traveler, foodie or gourmet, this book is for you. I've been to France many times, and after reading this book, I'm reading to fly there next week. Ann Mah's writing is smooth ...

  • Kristin Espinasse

    How could anyone be teary-eyed reading a delightful account of France and French cooking? Ann Mah's loving memoir touched this Francophile and French resident deeply! Ann managed to put to words what ...

  • Jacqueline

    There are some books that capture you from the minute you open them and this was one of those books. I always felt hungry when reading it, which as my reading time is usually late at night wasn’t go...

  • Sara

    The title of this book hooked me. I travel to France semi-frequently and look for any book, movie, website, etc. which will help me understand French culture. The first 3-4 chapters did not disappoint...