By: Senorita Alwan
Having travelled to Paris twice and given my interest in cooking/cuisine, I thought that Lunch in Paris could be a good read. It turns out that I was right. The book is more than your classic love story. It has elements of how an American, Elizabeth Bard, can navigate the culture of Paris and her French boyfriend with an open mind. Not only does Elizabeth fall in love with, Gwendal, but she gets caught up in cooking up wonderful French cuisine. At the end of each chapter is a compilation of the recipes of French dishes that she prepared. Her connection to food reminds me of the food aspect of the novel Como Agua Para Chocolate.
In addition to her relationship with Gwendal, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and French fashion. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé) and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of Frenchcuisine of France the more she understands Paris and the French culture. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese-there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart. Overall, Lunch in Paris is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home. boo