Friday, April 18, 2008

As chef in France: literary recipes and culinary tales

(Bart Van Loo gives the first copy of As chef in France to Jocelyne Caballero, the French consul in Antwerp.)

Earlier this week, the consulate general of France in Antwerp opened its doors for the presentation of Bart Van Loo’s latest book: Als kok in Frankrijk. Literaire recepten en culinaire verhalen (As chef in France. Literary recipes and culinary tales).

Since time immemorial, French writers quench their thirst for sensual pleasures with cooking. As chef in France is a collection of the finest culinary fantasies and dishes. Is the secret of the perfect steak revealed in the works of François-René de Chateaubriand? How did Alexandre Dumas prepare elephant leg? What did Georges Perec eat in 1974? In addition to many tastefully written tales, this irresistible book contains numerous recipes for each and every occasion. Surprise your guests with gargantuesque eggs. Read the works of Proust whilst on a diet of homemade madeleines. Serve fish to hundreds of invitees… Feel free to browse through the recipes and culinary wisdom of Rabelais, Montaigne, Molière, Rousseau, Baudelaire, Balzac, Zola, Queneau, Simenon and many others.

In As chef in France, Bart van Loo reaches new heights when eating and reading are concerned. It’s a culinary travel guide with fingerlicking stories and surprising finds.

No one can resist Bart Van Loo’s (1973) enthusiasm and erudite style when he writes about French literature and culture. After Parijs retour. Literaire reisgids voor Frankrijk (To Paris and back. Literary travel guide for France), As chef in France forms the second part of his self-willed France trilogy. De Volkskrant praises Van Loo as an 'excellent companion for people visiting France'. According to NRC Handelsblad, Van Loo is ‘a passionate literary pilgrim’. 'Writing about literature in a more enthusiastic way is almost impossible'.

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