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Reviews

  • "This book may well be an even greater pleasure than its predecessor. Moving himself, his wife and their two young boys to Lyon, Buford sets out, with characteristically self-deprecating humor, not merely to learn the techniques of French cuisine, but to understand its essence . . . Most enjoyable are the apprenticeships in which he sets out to master the five mother sauces, bake the perfect baguette and construct the same misleadingly named 'duck pie' . . . Delightful, highly idiosyncratic."

    Lisa Abend, The New York Times Book Review
  • "A welcome reminder of simpler times . . . Buford's writing is filled with humor and heart . . . He unveils the importance of understanding a city in order to better prepare its dishes . . .[and] underlines a deeply resonant tenet of life: the value of community."

    Annabel Gutterman, TIME
  • "A vivid and often laugh-out-loud account… Buford’s a delightful narrator, and his stories of attending a pig slaughter, befriending the owner of a local bakery, and becoming gradually accepted by the locals are by turns funny, intimate, insightful, and occasionally heartbreaking. It’s a remarkable book, and even readers who don’t know a sabayon from a Sabatier will find it endlessly rewarding."

    Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • "Bill Buford's Dirt – his memoir of an apprenticeship in the unforgiving temples of French cuisine in Lyon – is a chomping, romping, savoury tour de force: by turns hilarious (often at his own expense); and seriously thought provoking about our relationship with cooking and appetite. Rabelais would have loved it. You finish it stuffed and groggy with happy illumination but as with every great feast, wanting even more!"

    Simon Schama
  • "Pure pleasure. Masterfully written. If you care at all about food, about writing, about obsessive people with a sense of adventure, you have to read this book. It is, in a word, wonderful."

    Ruth Reichl

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