Marcel Proust’s literary masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu overflows with brilliant, minutely described accounts of food and drink drawn from the author’s vivid memories. After all, it was the taste of one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, dipped into a cup of tea, that first impelled Proust into “a remembrance of things past.” He wrote with relish and exactitude about Françoise, the family cook in Illiers-Combray, the restaurant at the Grand Hôtel Balbec, meals at Rivebelle, La Raspelière, and the Guermantes’ in Paris.
Shirley King, a professional chef and lifelong lover of Proust’s works, was inspired to draw these two strands together into this tribute to a master: a collection of recipes representing the best of classical French cuisine from Proust’s belle époque, ranging from the sophisticated elaboration of lobster à l’américaine or truffled partridge to the simplicity of croque-monsieur. King combines practical instruction, quotations from Proust’s works, and rich illustrations in a way that will charm every lover of Proust and every cook.
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