The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz

Categories:Book Reviews


The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz – the talented and celebrated pastry chef, blogger and expert on all things French is a memoir and dedication to his love of Paris and baking.  The memoir is written in the same humorous, honest, cheeky and sarcastic tone as in his blog and presented as a collection of recipes and vignettes that detail his adaptation to Paris and of life and culture as seen through the eyes of an expat living in Paris.  Lebovitz exposes the complexities of Parisian culture through his own faux pas as well as the tedious and negative aspects of life in Paris like the lack of public toilets, disagreeable bureaucrats and aloof contractors with hilarious skill that visitors to Paris will immediately recall and nod to.

Like the many expats before him, David fantasised about living in Paris ever since his first visit in the early 1980’s.  David was so enraptured by the city of love that two decades after enjoying a successful career as a pastry chef in California and as a cookbook author the time for a life overhaul arrived after the devastating loss of his partner.  David sells everything he owns and says au revoir to his friends and beloved job at the well established Chez Panisse where he had been a pastry chef for thirteen years and arrives  in the charming and lively Bastille district of Paris.  David quickly discovers that apartments in Paris are very different to what he had been used to and stumbles into a space that is storage and decoratively challenged with a kitchen that is significantly small and too inadequate to function in.  There will be many laugh out loud moments throughout the memoir from David trying to befriend and decipher the averse lady at his local boulangerie, to decoding the ever perplexing rules and procedures of French bureaucracy to dealing with the challenges of finding a contractor that can stick to task or dealing with the complexities of French etiquette in every day Parisian life.

David Lebovits tells the story of how adjusting to Paris with all its ups and downs is made easier with two cups of humour, a splash of sarcasm, a spoon full of adventure, cooking delicious meals and baking irresistible sweets .   “In a city that sometimes left him scratching his head, but ultimately winning him over,” David wins your heart and makes you fall in love with Paris and his recipes as you eagerly whip up his mocha-cream fraiche recipe (page 189-190) while contemplating your future trip to Paris.

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