An excerpt from Alice Waters’s new book, ‘Coming to My Senses’
“When I got back from France, I moved into an old Victorian house on Dwight Way. I felt like the most sophisticated person. I just thought I knew everything. I wanted to live like the French. As luck would have it, a Frenchman, Pierre Furlan, lived downstairs from me in the basement apartment, and he would pop into our lives every so often.
Sometimes when we were experimenting with French recipes, Pierre Furlan would call upstairs, ask what we were having for dinner, come up, and cook. He knew how to cook and would make corrections and additions or give bits of advice if we were going off the rails. At the time, I was making a lot of buckwheat crêpes and watching plenty of Julia Child. She was speaking my language. She was very funny and grounded — she’d drop the chicken on the floor, pick it up, and keep right on going — and I wanted to master the art of French cooking, exactly that. I did buy her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but it was more or less incomprehensible to me; it had no pictures, long and detailed recipes, and lots of writing about precision. It was daunting. But luckily there was the TV show — I loved her manner, and she was a Francophile just like I was. “[ . . . ]
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