A Taste of Paris by David Downie
A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

His disdain is especially harsh regarding “super-bobo” eateries with “could-be-anywhere cooking.” A zesty, entertaining romp through the landscape of French food.


In his trademark witty and informative style, David Downie embarks on a quest to discover “What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover’s paradise?” Long before Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake!” (actually, it was brioche), the Romans of Paris devoured foie gras, and live oysters rushed in from the Atlantic; one Medieval cookbook describes a thirty-two part meal featuring hare stew, eel soup, and honeyed wine; during the last great banquet at Versailles a year before the Revolution the gourmand Louis XVI savored thirty-two main dishes and sixteen desserts; yet, in 1812, Grimod de la Reynière, the father of French gastronomy, regaled guests with fifty-two courses, fifteen wines, three types of coffee, and seventeen liqueurs.

Following the contours of history and the geography of the city, Downie sweeps readers on an insider’s gourmet walking tour of Paris and its environs in A Taste of Paris, revealing the locations of Roman butcher shops, classic Belle Epoque bistros serving diners today and Marie Antoinette’s exquisite vegetable garden that still supplies produce, no longer to the unfortunate queen, but to the legendary Alain Ducasse and his stylish restaurant inside the palace of Versailles. Along the way, readers learn why the rich culinary heritage of France still makes Paris the ultimate arbiter in the world of food.


About David Downie

See more books from this Author
David Downie has called Paris and the Marais home since 1986. He has written for over 50 publications worldwide including Bon Appétit, The Los Angeles Times, Town & Country Travel, The San Francisco Chronicle, epicurious.com, and Salon.com. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light, three Terroir guides, as well as several cookbooks and crime novels. He lives with his wife, Alison Harris, a photographer, and creates custom tours via his "Paris, Paris Tours" blog site: http://parisparistours.blogspot.com/
Published September 26, 2017 by St. Martin's Press. 304 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Cooking. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for A Taste of Paris
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0


Above average
on Jun 12 2017

His disdain is especially harsh regarding “super-bobo” eateries with “could-be-anywhere cooking.” A zesty, entertaining romp through the landscape of French food.

Read Full Review of A Taste of Paris: A History o... | See more reviews from Kirkus