World Chefs: American author find passion for food in Paris

Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:37am EST
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By Miral Fahmy

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Cooking and love can both be hot and steamy affairs that require little training but lots of effort, according to cook and author Elizabeth Bard who learned how to channel her passion after moving to Paris.

Bard, an American journalist and historian, fell in love with a Frenchman during a trip to Paris, married him and moved there with just a smattering of French and lot of expectations. She then learned how to cook, live and love like a Parisienne.

Her memoir, "Lunch in Paris," published this month, details the journey she began some 10 years ago and is essentially a love story that revolves around mouthwatering recipes. "Food has always been the way I have explored other cultures whenever I've traveled," Bard told Reuters during a recent trip to a writers' festival in Australia.

"And I always knew I was going to write about international romance and intercultural marriage, and meals were a natural way to structure my book."

Although writing came naturally to Bard, who maintains a popular blog and has had articles on art, travel and culture appear in a list of publications, the path to cooking, and love, in France didn't always run smooth.

Admitting she'd eaten her fair share of processed foods growing up in the United States and with little hands-on experience, Bard taught herself how to gut a fish and improvise meals with whatever ingredients were in the fridge.

But her biggest challenge, she said, was learning to let herself go, both in the kitchen and in her relationship.

"Cooking and falling in love are both very seductive processes, you have to let yourself be a little free, to experiment, to feel things, to try things that you would not really try," she said.   Continued...