My Paris Kitchen: Lunch with David Lebovitz

It's very exciting when your hero of writing and blogging is on tour in America. Wishing and hoping he would come to Seattle, paid off when the Book Larder organized an event at the nearby Boat Street Cafe. I didn't mind a bit that I had already ordered a copy of My Paris Kitchen from Queen Anne Books. Two copies isn't a problem.

The first recipes I want to try.

The first recipes I want to try.

Very little has been accomplished around here since I got the book and have been busy ready, planning and cooking. I can already say this is a great cookbook that I will use for years. The writing is as I expect from David Lebovitz, a joy to read. He's funny and witty and heartfelt about all the people he deals with in Paris. His insights from being the outsider are penetrating, but never mean and always entertaining.

David Lebovitz welcomes and thanks us for coming before lunch was served.

David Lebovitz welcomes and thanks us for coming before lunch was served.

On the most beautiful day of the year so far in Seattle, it was a pleasure to stand in line outdoors where you could see David Lebovitz seated at the bar signing books. Despite thinking about it in line, my prepared congratulations evaporated before I could present them. There is something surreal about meeting someone you know so intimately through his writing that has no idea who you are other than a fan. The thrill of speaking personally to him while he signed my new book addled my brain a bit, so I can't remember it all, but he is as charming and gracious in the flesh as he is on the page. Renee Erickson introduced him. In his brief remarks before lunch service began he was self deprecating and humorous about the rigors of being on tour and what can happen when some kitchens have prepared his recipes. He explained how he had updated old fashioned pound cake proportions and used melted butter for maximum moistness.

He never sat down to the three course menu the Boat Street Cafe had prepared from recipes in the book. He generously went table to table and gave everyone a second chance at face time with him. I feel like I saw him at his last small club appearance and the next time he comes to town it will be a stadium show.

The menu was well chosen from My Paris Kitchen and nicely paired with wine selections. I will track down the blanc for my cellar or at least go back to Boat Street soon to have it again.  The Aioli was to die for and presented under an artistic stack of vegetables, which I will try to duplicate. I already had the Terrine marked to take a party and will definitely do so and figure out how Boat Street made the pickled red onion garnish. It was colorful and crunchy with baby lettuces dressing up the grey slab of dense, rich duck plus.  I'm a pie person not a cake person, but I will make this cake the next time I have company.


Tariquet Cotes du Gascogne Blanc

Le Grand (chive and garlic) Aioli

Duck and Pork Terrine with Currants

Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Rose

Bay Leaf Pound Cake (with citrus glaze, roasted rhubarb, soft whipped cream)