In "Apricots on the Nile", Colette Rossant's best-selling memoir, we left her as a 15-year-old sailing away from her beloved Cairo to her mother's family in France. It is 1947 and Paris is recovering from the war. As soon as they arrive, Colette's mother abandons her yet again, leaving her with her bossy grandmother, who finds Colette too Egyptian, and her older brother, who has turned into a stranger. Lonely, frightened and terribly homesick, Colette finds solace in the kitchen with the cook, Georgette, and discovers a love for French food - the Sunday lunches of roasted lamb stuffed with garlic, springtime strawberries bathed in creme fraiche, the first taste of truffle in a restaurant on the Left Bank. It is through food that Colette finds hapiness in Paris, skipping school to go to the famous farmers' market in Port de Neuilly and dining in Michelin-starred restaurants with her new stepfather, a hotelier who shares her love of eating. Then, at 16, she meets a dashing young American holidaying in the city - and, despite all opposition from her family, never looks back. Filled with recipes, "Return to Paris" is an evocative memoir and vivid piece of food writing combined.
'This is a book for Francophiles and for anyone else who wants to make simple food well. Just don't, whatever you do, read it when you're hungry' Observer 'It is a story told through food, rich with tastes and aromas ... these add sensory detail to every anecdote, and leave flavours lingering in the mind - garlic, plum, tarragon, rosemary - long after the book is finished' Sunday Times