‘Fanny in France’ is the story of a chef’s (Alice Waters) daughter including recipes perfect for a young cook


“Fanny in France” is written by Alice Waters, the chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and Fanny’s mother. Waters advocated for organic and locally grown food long before it was popular. She received the prestigious Légion d’Honneur from the French government in 2010. She wrote the book with the help of Bob Carrau and illustrator Ann Arnold.

“Fanny in France” is a charming story of a life that almost seems to have been from another era — it’s about nature, cooking, travel and friendships. The story is written in first person narrative and it’s written as a memoir, even though it’s written by Fanny’s mother.

This lovely piece of work will appeal to budding young chefs and young readers who love the idea of traveling and experiencing new adventures. While many of the foods that Fanny eats, like a live sea urchin or frog legs, will cause young readers to shudder, Waters also points out that, “When people come from France to visit me in Berkeley, they can’t believe I eat corn on the cob — they think that only pigs eat corn that way.”

Her point? “I guess everybody eats different things in different places.”

There are wonderful recipes in the back. They are not for the faint of heart — these are not children’s recipes but rather real French recipes. They all sound delicious.

This book would be a great gift for a would-be chef, someone traveling to France, someone who loves fine food, or anyone who loves reading memoirs.

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Viking for review purposes.