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The Perfect Meal by John Baxter

John Baxter is one of those fortuitous individuals able to use their considerable creative skills in order to fund an enviable gastronome’s life in Paris. In addition to his work as a film critic and biographer, the Australian has also written acclaimed memoirs, including The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris.

For his latest, he begins a culinary dig for great lost French recipes to create the ultimate historic feast. With the help of his friend Boris, he researches the plausibility of serving up lesser-spotted dinner party favourites such as caviar, rascasse (a bouillabaisse staple) and roast ox, and then places them in context.

It’s a mouthwatering, erudite journey through France’s foodie heritage, some of which might be lost forever without the likes of Baxter recalling and showcasing them for today’s diner.

The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France by John Baxter, published by Harper Perennial, 11.40 euros.

Originally published in the October-November 2013 issue of France Today

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