Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Zoë Francois, What Are You Reading?

Having trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Zoe Francois had already enjoyed a successful career as a pastry chef before she began writing cookbooks. She has also taught baking and served as a consultant to restaurants. In 2007, she and Jeff Hertzberg wrote their first book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day which made daily bread baking a doable task. Last year, their second book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, was released, and that applies the same principles from the first book to loaves made with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It even includes a chapter on gluten-free breads. They're currently busy working on a third book due out next fall, and that one will be Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day. You can keep up with Zoe and Jeff and find more information about their books and upcoming events by checking their site. I knew Zoe would have some interesting books to mention when I asked what are you reading?

Few places bring me as much joy as sitting at Tartine in San Francisco. Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson have managed to infuse their passion into every aspect of the bakery. The result is exquisitely prepared pastries, breads, and tartines made from Chad’s loaves. Now, from my home in the Midwest, I can visit the bakery through their cookbooks. First I drooled over the pages of Elizabeth’s book on pastries, Tartine, and now I am doing the same with Tartine Bread, Chad’s heroic tome on breads. The book itself is gorgeous and exudes Chad’s love for the craft of bread baking.

The other book at my bedside is The Tuscan Year: Life and Food in an Italian Valley by Elizabeth Romer. She writes about the seasonal cooking of Tuscany from a time when there was little choice but to cook what was grown locally. It wasn’t hip it was essential. The stories and recipes are old world and hearty. This book inspired me to make Fiori di Zucchini Ripieni (stuffed zucchini flowers) this summer and has me looking forward to roasting chestnuts with white wine. The book is part history lesson, part cookbook, and a glimpse at a Tuscan life.

Thank you for participating, Zoe. Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.

Previous WAYR posts:
Jaden Hair
Michael Ruhlman
Monica Bhide
Michael Natkin
Sara Roahen
Andrea Nguyen
David Lebovitz
Rick Bayless
Tara Austen Weaver
Mollie Katzen
Deborah Madison
Soup Peddler
Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan
Robb Walsh
Kim Severson
David Leite
Dan Lepard
Carolyn Jung
Joan Nathan
Melissa Clark
Dianne Jacob


  1. The Tuscan Year sounds like a great read!

  2. I agree with her choice! Tartine is my favorite bakery in San Fransisco even though it gets so crowded it is hard to manage a seat!
    I want to read those books now!

  3. I had a look at that book Tartine Bread, and it looks wonderful. I am just not sure if its a little to advanced for me. Goodness knows though, I certainly love my carbs.
    *kisses* HH

  4. I love this series as I am always on the lookout for new food-related books, both cookbooks and (especially) non-cookbooks like memoirs. Thanks for putting this together it was a fantastic idea!

  5. Love the selection - having just gotten back from Tuscany, I am going to have to grab the Tuscan book. Tartine is great, but Throughbread is also fantastic and relatively close - some say the best croissants in the city. Wonderful suggestions.


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