Chocolate & Zucchini, Clotilde Dusoulier’s food blog about daily life and cooking in Paris (www.chocolateandzucchini.com), has wrapped millions of Internet foodies in her charming writing and honest recipes, and her new cookbook is certain to enrapture both her loyal readers and new converts. With accompanying wine selections for each recipe by wine writer Lenn Thompson and impressive photography by the author herself, Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen is full of youthful enthusiasm and hip verve.
The cookbook encapsulates all that is Parisian cookery, taking into account freshness, seasonality and flavor combination. While giving old favorites their due, like the über-traditional boeuf Bourguignon on page 131, she also crafts innovative combinations that, at first glance, may seem unappetizing. Upon tasting, however, these creations prove enchanting (like a broccoli, apple and goat cheese quiche on page 41), even sometimes exquisite (the cremini and chestnut soup, page 52).
A downfall of the book is the lack of timing specifications. The recipes delineate the amount of time the dish should spend in the oven or on the stove, but fail to point out the total amount of prep time for each recipe – something every good dinner party host must be aware of. The book is also incredibly dessert-heavy, with separate chapters for cakes, tarts, cookies and “other”: custards, crepes, compotes, etc.
C&Z practically turns its own pages, colorful stories of Dusoulier’s cooking antics littering each recipe. This 28-year-old may have no professional cooking or photographic experience, but she reveals a personal passion for Parisian food that translates well to the non-Frenchified email@example.com