I loved the title of “Love, God and the Art of French Cooking“. I took my first trip to Paris in the Spring of 2011, and it seemed so romantic – the thought of combining the wonderful qualities found in French cooking with spiritual lessons. I was eager to receive my copy from Hay House as part of their blogger program. Unfortunately, it was a different experience altogether. The title alludes to a charming concept which does not catch fire.
Love, God and the Art of French Cooking is the painful story of author James Twyman’s dysfunctional love life, with some conversations with chef Roger Dufau, the owner of bed and breakfast, Drew House, included. It is those conversations which are the most appealing and heart-warming parts of the book. Roger casually imparts his outlook on life with depth, humor and a quiet authenticity. He reminded me of the best of European culture: sophisticated yet earthy, with a wonderful appreciation of simple pleasures.
I couldn’t wait to spend time with Roger. He had so many gems:
- On love: Love usually doesn’t go in neat steps – it’s rarely so well organized.
- On spirituality: I learned so much from that man <renowned chef Alain Dutournier>, and to me, he is a great example of what it means to be spiritual without being pious.
- On living a life of service, and living life with purpose (my favorite): When God gives us something to do for the world, it’s vital that we pay attention.
If you’re looking for something which tells a personal story with more than few culinary adventures thrown in, I highly recommend any of Ruth Reichl’s books. If you happened to see Woody Allen’s darling “Midnight in Paris” this Fall and would like to create your own homage to French cooking, try some of the recipes in Ina Garten’s wonderful “Barefoot in Paris: French Food You Can Make At Home”. Cooking while listening to “Ma Vie En Rose” is optional…