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April 2019 Newsletter

I think that March may have been the most hectic month of my life. Well, maybe I shouldn't go that far. But it was quite busy and life got in the way of...well, nearly everything. On the other hand, I got a lot done.

It's always exciting to tackle a new project, but even more rewarding to see a long-term one come to life. That happens when you write a cookbook and the photographs happen. I've always been a part of the shoot, so to speak, although often the author isn't there and the pictures are taken by someone in a studio thousands of miles away. (And styled by someone else, too.) But in my case, I get to stand there and touch, prod, suggest, swirl, as well as bake, and cook. And the results (hopefully) make it on to the page.

We got half of my next book photographed and it's a beauty (if I do say so myself). Working with the very-talented Ed Anderson, who shot My Paris Kitchen, and ace food stylist George Dolese, who knows his way around food – and drink – I saw my book come to life.


There are a lot of pictures in my book - it's slotted to have a whopping 80 photos - so we broke the shoot(s) up into two parts, the rest happening in a few months. When you cook with the seasons, you have to wait for things like cherries and apricots. Patience is often an ingredient in cookbook photography.

Not everyone realizes what goes into a cookbook shoot. Yes, the food is all real, and it's all edible (at least on my shoots) but it takes a bit of fussing to make things look right for the camera. Food and drinks look different once you peer at them through the viewfinder, so it takes skill on the part of all to coax everything to look just right...without looking too just right.

Fueled on by French pastries, and café, we made it through a week of shots and the book looks great. I can't wait to tackle part 2 early this summer!

me and sue

In other news, I rummaged through some old photos of me and unearthed a few nuggets, like the one above. That was taken in Bordeaux sometimes in the 1990s when I was cooking there and a friend handed me a badly-needed cup of coffee. I posted a few more here, here, here, and here, on Instagram, if you want to see some other pics.

Hope you all survive any and all April Food's pranks that might be floating around on the internet. And if you see any about me, don't believe 'em... But yes, all those pictures linked above are, indeed, me.

A bientôt,
- David

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Links I'm Liking

The coffee pod problem (The Atlantic)

Paris tomb of artist Man Ray vandalized (Yahoo!)

The haunted history of the Hotel Lutecia in Paris (Smithsonian)

Is walnut liqueur (aka: liqueur de noix/nocino) back? (Punch)

These Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies seem to be making the rounds!

18 cookbooks that cookbook authors, myself included, actually use (The Daily Beast)

Where did French Onion Soup, The Great Hangover Cure, come from? (Munchies)

French show their concern (or not) about the hazards of drinking wine (NYT)

The 2019 James Beard Cookbook Award Nominees are announced (James Beard Foundation)

From outrage to icon, the Louvre pyramid turns 30 (Agence France-Presse)

How Jackie Kennedy brought the Mona Lisa to America (BBC video)

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Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

Make Pad Thai at home!

Want to look more French? Dress yourself up (or down) with a pair of Les baskets

Oh, and if you want to make Chouquettes, like the ones seen at the top of the newsletter, my recipe is here...


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