Les Liaisons Delicieuses:
Breaking the French Culinary Code
by Patricia Ravenscroft Lulu

"Passionate eating, like other passions, can, in the intensity of the moment, lend itself to enthusiastic, even excessive appreciation."

The Ravenscroft team takes the reader on a delicious romp through France, plunging them headlong into many culinary adventures with Michelin-star French chefs.

The readers follow Ravenscroft, a trained psychiatric social worker, as she details her culinary journey through France. Ravenscroft, an enthusiastic Francophile, whose great, great grandfather was a well-known painter in France and USA, fell in love with all things French early on in her life. Later on, when she graduated from college and married her husband Kent, the Ravenscrofts decided to take a sabbatical year in France. There, pursuing her love of cooking, Ravenscroft worked her way into several famous French kitchens. After many challenges, she befriended a handful of famous chefs and got valuable hands-on cooking experience, which helped her to appreciate the French cuisine and culture even more. This experience inspired her to start her company, Les Liaisons Delicieuses, where she takes small groups of people on week-long gastronomic adventures to the French countryside. Program participants get to work with a French chef in his or her kitchen, and experience French cooking methods first hand.

This well-written book chronicles the many trips on which Ravenscroft took her groups. Most of the chapters talk about particular trips to different chefs' kitchens and the experience she and her groups gained. Recipes for the dishes learned at that particular adventure follow at the end of each chapter like a cherry on top of a proverbial (French) cake. The writing style is light and descriptive, and the author goes into great detail to describe each dish and how it was made.

The book contains a good dose of humor, sprinkled right where it is needed in the narrative. Ravenscroft, fluent in French, calls all the dishes by their French name as well as in English, lending the book an authentic feel.However, the drab books jacket doesn't do justice to the contents inside; the image on the back cover blurred. Each of the delicious dishes described would benefit from a full-color picture, as well as an insert of Ravenscroft in the company of French chefs and workshop attendees. All in all, this is a funny, delicious book, perfect for the lover of authentic French recipes and great for those who appreciate all things French.

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