Being of this parish – Mr Lobrano writes our restaurant reviews – does not preclude the author of these enticing gourmet chronicles from rigorous critical appraisal. The trouble is, there are few improvements for us to recommend, even if we wanted to…

If you need a region-by region (excluding-Paris) account of the best places for a feed, penned by a man who knows his flavours, food heritage, textures and provenance, and who writes in a style that’s unshowy yet full of passion and knowledge for his chosen subject, then add this book to your library.

But he did not create such a handsome tome alone. For the superb photography, we can thank Steven Rothfeld, while Jane Sigal lent her recipe creation skills. If only someone had introduced the pair on the same day – if one thing irks ever so slightly, it’s the lack of photos of the suggested recipes. After all, those are the ones that everyone cooks, right?

This trifle aside, it’s ‘hats off’ to Lobrano, who moved to Paris some 30 years ago and is the go-to scribe for gourmets who are keen on incisive analysis of France’s great eateries from a non-European perspective. All praise to his refined, trusted palate, fine address book (which he generously shares) and, most importantly, to his unflagging appetite.

Hungry for France: Adventures for the Cook & Food Lover. Written by Alexander Lobrano. Photography by Steven Rothfeld. €45, Published by Rizzoli

Originally published in the April-May 2014 issue of France Today

 

 

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