Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

American Elizabeth Bard had lunch with a Frenchman in a Paris cafe, and never went home.Whether it was Gwendal's charm, or the steak, Elizabeth was in love. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes is her story of romance, food, and trying to find a place for herself in an unexpected life. The book has recipes throughout, but it also has the thoughtful yearning of an American with feet in two worlds.

Bard first met Gwendal at a conference in London. He was finishing a PhD in Computer Science, and she was starting a Master's in Art History. And, after she met him for lunch in Paris, went to his apartment for tea, and then dinner, she ended up staying. "I had no way of knowing, that first damp evening in Paris, how much this man, and his non-recipes, would change my life." Something about Gwendal and the romance of Paris and food drew in this woman who longed for beauty and romance in her life. And, having escaped from a port city, Gwendal himself was still discovering Paris. "He was still open to the magic of this place. I didn't know a lot of people that were open to magic at all."

Bard's description of her life, the markets, the food, and the recipes, will leave foodies drooling, and armchair travelers ready to set off for Paris. At the same time, life wasn't always easy for her. She was twenty-five when she first went there, with ambitious plans herself. Once she stayed, she couldn't work, didn't know what to do, and, at times she was lonely.

Bard's memoir is the story of a woman who finally realized she could put together her love of French food, her love of the man who became her husband, and her knowledge. Once she combined all those elements, she had the book that became Lunch in Paris. It went on to become a New York Times and international bestseller, a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" pick, and the recipient of the 2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best First Cookbook (USA).

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes is fun, just the book to take you away for a day. You might want to spend your own April day in Paris with Elizabeth Bard.

Although Elizabeth Bard's website is, you're better off following her on Facebook at

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. Little, Brown & Company. 2010. ISBN 9780316042796 (hardcover), 324p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Kaye Barley said...

Another one to add to my list - Thank You!

Lesa said...

Thank you even more, Kaye, for A Snicker of Magic.