About my new book


In my Best of 2011 post earlier this month, I hinted at the new book I’m working on, and after receiving several kind requests for details, I thought I’d tell you a little more about the project.

The general idea of the book is to talk about the love affair between French cuisine and vegetables.

It is admittedly a challenge to dine out as a vegetarian in France, where meat and fish are treated as the main character of any special-occasion dish, yet the French culinary repertoire is rife with delicious ideas on how to cook vegetables.

It seems to me that when cooks try to shift their habits to use fewer animal products, French cuisine is not the one they turn to spontaneously, so it is a source of inspiration that is vastly untapped.

Over the past few years, as has no doubt been apparent on C&Z, Maxence and I have transitioned to a more and more plant-based way of eating — for reasons of ethics, environmental concern, and natural inclination — so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to explore unusual and exciting ways to use up my weekly selection of seasonal vegetables.

It is the best of those colorful, seasonal dishes that I want to share in this new book. Some are personal creations, others are drawn from my research into lesser-known regional cuisines. All are simple and flavorsome, so you can make the most of the time you spend in the kitchen.

My goal, in this book as on the blog, is to teach and inspire, so each of the recipes is meant to leave you not just with a wonderful dish to share with your friends, but also with a trick, a technique, a building block that you can adopt and use elsewhere in your cooking.

I am working with a stylist and a photographer for the food shots — we are shooting the dishes in season, so we’ve already completed the spring, summer, and fall chapters — and I’m delighted to have hired the same team that Alain Ducasse did for his best-selling Nature cookbook. The book will also have photos of Paris street and market scenes, which I’ve entrusted to the talented Emilie Guelpa. (More details about the photography.)

I am very excited about the work we’ve all done so far, and equally impatient to share it with you. The book will be published in English by Clarkson Potter and is scheduled for North-American release in the spring of 2013. Translated editions will come later if all goes well; I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can publish a French version.

In the meantime, I have two months left to complete the first draft of the manuscript, and then there will be the back-and-forth editing and revisions, followed by copyediting, book design, indexing, proofing, etc., the lengthy but fascinating process that turns a bunch of files on my computer into an actual book that I hope you’ll take pleasure in reading through and cooking from.

  • Congrats!!!
    Looking forward to reading it.

  • Cristy

    Congratulations! Looking forward to salivating over every page.

  • Juan

    I am very excited and looking forward to your new book, especially on the idea of moving towards more plant-based way of eating..

    Thanks for sharing this idea!

  • Yulie

    That sounds fantastic! Being a vegetarian, I’m always happy to see vegetable-focused cookbooks – it’s great to have new sources of inspiration.

    Will you be posting some previews later in the process?

    • I’m not sure about previews, as any material from the book is copyrighted and can’t be used without clearing it with my publisher, but I’ll definitely tell you more about it as the book progresses!

  • Great news! Congratulations. Looking forward to seeing it!

  • Sophie

    si votre livre se rapproche ne serait-ce qu’un peu d’une version francophone de Bi Rite’s Eat Good Food, je le précommande immédiatement ! ;) C’est devenu un de mes coffee table books préférés, mais j’ai parfois du mal à le transposer ici même si les principes sont applicables partout. (j’ai beaucoup de mal à trouver du “kale”, notamment … d’ailleurs Xavier Mathias en parlait dans “On va déguster” sur Fr Inter dimanche, c’est un des seuls maraîchers qui en cultive)
    Enfin bon, même s’il n’y est semblable en rien, finalement, j’ai hâte de voir à quoi il va ressembler :)

  • Great focus for the book and very topical. I look forward to a compendium of great French veg recipes. I’ve been looking for something like this recently – and you tell me now I’ll have to wait until 2013!

  • Wynne

    This sounds wonderful; I’m so excited for you … and for me!

  • Congratulations, I love this idea but I’m so sad I have to wait a whole year to see it!!!

  • Susan T

    I have your first two books and have really enjoyed them. Like you, we are eating more plant based foods, so your new book will be perfect!

  • Yeah Yeah!! Great news, but 2013…. That is stretching it for your fans ;-).

    Any chance that you will make an update of your food/restaurant guide before that time?? In any case, enjoy the process!!

    • I know it’s a long time, and that’s why I refrained from mentioning it when the deal was signed, back in May! :)

  • Franko

    your first book was a revelation to me — i can’t wait for one with more vegetarian recipes in it!

    • Thank you! I hope you enjoy this one too.

  • A fantastic topic for a book…you don’t need to be a vegetarian to be searching for ways to use more vegetables as the main ingredients for a meal so I am looking forward to seeing it. Good luck with what is ahead.

  • Avec un sujet pareil et Griottes+Françoise Nicol sur le projet, je pense sincèrement que ce sera un très, très, beau bébé. Félicitations et bonne continuation pour ce livre, que j’attends en français.

  • Neil

    2013 is a long time to wait. Could you share some on C & Z?

    • The book will have exclusive content not published on the blog, but in the meantime I will certainly continue to cook and share recipes here as I have for the past 8 years. :)

  • This is SO exciting! I really love the topic of the book and, until you said it, never realized how true it is that French cuisine isn’t one that we typically turn to when we think “more plant-based diet”. I tend to mostly eat vegetarian dishes these days, but I also have a friend with whom I get together to create delicious Julia Child-esque dishes and they always involve plenty of meat and butter. But I’m hoping your cookbook will inspire some new creations! Can’t wait until Spring 2013. :)

    • Haha- my first thought when reading this blog was of the film Julie & Julia, with her learning to cook in France, and adoring the french cuisine.

      Clotilde- I just stumbled upon your blog for the first time. 8 years is quite an effort! I’m a glutenfree vegan and am currently going through the process of finalising my manuscript ready for copy editing, photography and graphic design. Your CV is so inspiring! I am looking to do something very similar, except instead of going from french to english, I’m aiming to convert all the day to day favourite recipes into their vegan, glutenfree, naturally sweetened counterparts.

      Where can I read more about how your book came about? How did you choose your copy editor? I read that you take your photos for your blog- do you use lighting? And who takes the photos for your books? I feel like I could ask you questions all day but I suspect that’s enough for not.

      • Perhaps you’ll be interested in the Book Update series I posted when I was working on my first book in 2005. I addressed most of your questions in those posts. For more details on getting published, Dianne Jacob’s Will Write for Food is an excellent resource. Good luck with your book project!

  • What a fantastic book idea! You’re totally right too, I’ve been vegetarian for over 10 years now and you just made me realize I rarely turn to French cuisine for meal idea. Can’t wait for it’s release, congratulations!

  • I absolutely cannot wait for this Clotilde! Good luck in the final months of this :)

  • Congratulations, Clotilde! I am so delighted for you–and for us, to get to benefit from your hard work. I can’t wait :-)

  • Clau

    Congratulations!I am looking forward to your new book, the idea is great. I often come to your blog to find vegetables ideas so I can´t wait for it´s release.

  • Yay! I’ll be looking forward to your new book. I have been transitioning this direction too and it will be nice to have recipes with products that I can find in France. I ordered a few vegetarian books from the USA, but there are a lot of ingredients I can’t find in my small village grocery store in the south of France.

  • Really looking forward to it. Sourcing ingredients in a rural area is a challenge in any country, however where there’s a will theres a way with any recipe! x

  • Griffin

    Will it be available in England too? I praised your first book to the extent that someone I know went and bought it. I’ve got both of the other two.

    I’m still hoping for a novel or a book of short stories tho’. You are a fabulous writer and after all there is the tradition of great French women writers to maintain!

    Good luck with this new one.

  • Danielle

    Congratulations on your latest book deal, Clotilde! I’m always looking for new recipes that demonstrate how luxurious veg dishes can be. I’ve won over many incredulous eaters with veg dishes that disprove the assumption that vegetarian food is austere and boring. I always love reading your delightful writing; spring of 2013 can’t come soon enough! Hope that you’ll share excerpts in the meantime.

  • Wow, congrats, this sounds like a great project. I love veggies too and use them as often as I can.

    Looking forward to reading this book.

  • I am already saving space on my bookshelf! I made the unreal decision of not buying any cookbooks in 2012 (still hanging strong as of Jan 18th…;-) , but since your book comes in 2013, I’d say PERFECT TIMING!

    Congrats on your new book deal!

    • Thanks Sally, and good luck with your year-long cookbook fast! :)

  • I’m really excited that you’re doing a more vegetable focused book! It’s true that it was hard to find things to eat in Paris – lots of vegetables but nearly always smothered in meat-based sauces or dressings or sprinkled with bits of meat. I ate a lot of plain omelets while there. And Italian food! However, I have two French vegetarian cookbooks which have shown me that the French do a lot with vegetables and from what I understand, outside of fancy French dining there is less focus on meat. Georgianne Brennan’s book about seasonal French veg eating is fantastic but it’s time for a fresh book with new options – I have one of your other books so I know this one will be great.

  • I’ve got your first two – on to another!

  • EB

    Congratulations! Incredibly well deserved.

  • Susan

    Yippee ! (Wonder what the French translation of yippee is?)

    Food is so much a part of culture so it’s a sensitive area for non French to question. I agree that the emphasis on meat is lessening, although very slowly! Produce in France is so amazing and it’ll be great to have fabulous old recipes that might have fallen back on lardons or meat broth tweaked and made completely veg. And new ones which take advantage of the range of produce available.

    What measurements are used in the English-language books? Or maybe, I should use the French versions for language practice anyway – metric ensured. :)

    • The French word for “yippee” is “youpi” (pronounced roughly like “you pee” :) only with shorter vowels).

      As for the measurements in the book, I’m doing both volume and weight, with weight both in ounces and grams. Some book designers feel it’s visual clutter and push to simplify, but I will do everything I can to keep all three in this book.

      • Liz Thomas

        Oh! Please do try and get the designers to keep the metric measurements! I know you are publishing in the US but i simply cannot get my head around cup measurements! I’m metric through and through.

        Really looking forward to reading your new work. I am not a veggie but we do eat a lot of meat free meals.

        Good luck

  • Lee

    Congratulations to you! I love the theme of your new cookbook and am really looking forward to it!

  • I’m thrilled to hear about this. My husband and I are not vegetarian, but only eat meat once every week or two. I feel like that’s becoming more normal, but magazines aren’t keeping up. They still focus on the big portion of meat, fairly big starch, and little side of vegetable, when we do things in the inverse. I can’t wait to see it.

  • Congratulations! This is super exciting. Can’t wait to read the end result :)

  • Congrats, what great news! I remember being amazed by how veg-friendly your first cookbook was (it is, bar none, my most used French cookbook) and I’m going to await your new one with baited breath!

    I’ll echo Griffin’s question about a UK edition – or am I going to need to have a kind friend/relative in the States send me a copy??

    • Thanks, Rachel! As for your and Griffin’s question about UK distribution, it’s the same as for foreign translations: it’s up to my publisher to find a publishing partner who wants to buy the rights for the UK and the Commonwealth, so it’s too early to say. But even if that doesn’t happen, Amazon UK will likely sell it as an import (as Amazon.fr will).

  • christiana

    Congratulations Clotilde on bringing your passion for inspired vege based recipes and creating a new book.
    I have been a vego for 20 years now and though I have many vego cookbooks, none of them feature beautiful images of paris streetscapes or your delighful writing.Yay Paris and yay you!

  • I think I’ve said in an old comment that I discovered your book in an apartment in Paris my mum had rented and then was delighted to find your blog. Look forward to another!

  • This sounds like it will be a great cookbook! Now that I think about it, most of the French dishes I cook are not plant-based, with the exception of a few quiche recipes, and salads.

  • Tim

    Very good news.

    We have all of your other books (including 2 x C&Z) and now look forward to the new one.

    Margaret and I are eating less and less meat (though not vegetarian). We grow some of our own veggies and we are always looking for new ways to use them. A book focused on vegetable recipes would be very welcome.

  • Madonna

    I’m very much looking forward to your new book. I’m sure it will be a great addition to my collection. I’m always searching for new ways to prepare the things I grow in my garden. I have the Georgeanne Brennan book that someone mentioned above and one called Vegetables by 40 Great French Chefs (gorgeous to look at, a bit intimidating to actually use). The C&Z recipes I’ve tried, both from the blog and the book, have always turned out perfectly. I like your “real” approach to preparing beautiful and delicious food.

    • Thank you, Madonna, that means a lot to me!

  • Ahh Your writing a new book! Fabulous, congratulation, look forward too seeing it! :)

  • I’m so excited to hear that you are doing a cookbook about vegetables! I always enjoy your writing and recipes, and it will be so nice to learn more about vegetables prepared as they are in France, but as more of a main focus. I often struggle when I visit France as although I am not vegetarian, I’m not all that keen on meat, and it is so often the focus of meals there. I hope that your book will also lead to French restauranteurs remembering how lovely French vegetables can be, and that they can be so much more than just a side dish! Good luck with this wonderful new project!

  • Elizabeth Austin Asch

    Love your blog, Clotilde, and especially the idioms. I’ve lived in Paris on and off for a few years now, but still don’t know the best place to get spices. I shop regularly at the market on Avenue President Wilson. Some of the spices I find from a small purveyor there are good, but some seem rather old and tired. Where should I go, please? And what about coffee – – can’t seem to find freshly-roasted beans to my liking easily either. I like Italian-style beans (rich, not bitter!), but it seems that the fresh roasting makes a huge difference. Thank you! You’re the best!

    • Green markets are rarely the best place to buy spices. In Paris, I recommend L’Epicerie de Bruno, Goumanyat, Izraël or Le Comptoir Colonial.

      As for coffee, you should definitely pay a visit to Coutume Café (my favorite), Café Lomi, Terres de Café, or La Caféothèque.

  • Congratulations! im very excited.
    absolutely love your blog!thanks for sharing.

  • Meyma

    hi, this is unrelated but aren’t you going to do desktop calenders this year? they were lovely!

  • Anjali

    Really excited for you and what a fantastic topic!


  • Salut Clotilde!
    I am very excited to hear about this new book! I am a native from the SF Bay Area, where I develped a passion for cooking and fresh food, and also discovered your book at my libary. Since moving to Switzerland a few months ago, I have been missing fresh Californian cuisine. I was determined not to survive off bread and cheese all winter. After many failed attempts at obtaining ingredients for asian dishes, I decided to learn how to cook the ingredients that are available to me, and in the local style. When searching online for a gratin recipie, I stumbled across your blog and rememberd what a treat your first book was! Your style is a great blend of California and European, so I find it easily accesible. And to hear that you are devoting an entire book to my favourite food group, vegetables, absoulutely rocks my new alpine world! At first it seemed Europeans do not share my love for fresh produce, but your blog and upcoming book prove me wrong. Merci beaucoup et vive légumes!

    • Happy to hear it, Erica, thank you! Finding fresh, local produce can be a challenge depending on where you live, but I hope you’re eventually able to identify good sources.

  • How wonderful! Can’t wait. Congratulations young lady – you are such joy.

  • Barbara

    I’m excited about the new book because I hope it will make me a vegetable lover! Meat and fish and pasta have been the main part of my meals for many years, so I want to learn to love vegetables. I read your C&Z book regularly and always enjoy your presentation. Thanks in advance.

    • Thank you Barbara! I hope you find inspiration in it.

  • jan

    I am looking forward to your book. I do hope it includes metric measurements as not everybody lives in the US or Myanmar where measurements are still in Imperial.

    • Absolutely — I have planned to include both volume and weight/metric measurements.

  • Hi Clotilde,

    Congratulations on your deal! My site compliments yours, consisting of interesting articles from a published author, and a free writers yearbook with over 1000 book publishers currently accepting submissions. Keep up the good work.

    Regards, Brian

  • jan

    Yea! I am looking forward to a cookbook with metric measurements…Most American based recipes make me feel left out and isolated and FRUSTRATED. That’s strange since ,in fact ,it is only the USA that uses non-metric measurements anymore!
    My other complaint is recipes that call for impossible to know what it is stuff like “stick of butter”, “Pumpkin pie spice” and Brand names (Jello) as if it were a generic ingredient.
    Can’t wait to see your internationally friendly recipes!!!

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.