If you get tired of picking up branches this weekend, or listening to your San Gabriel Valley friends who are still complaining about having to do so, you might head over to downtown's Central Library to listen to Joan Nathan instead. The cookbook author (10 books and counting) will be speaking about the food of the Jews of France at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday, Dec. 10 in a talk presented by the Culinary Historians of Southern California.

Nathan, who got one of her two masters in French literature (the other was in public administration from Harvard) and lived in Israel for three years working for the then mayor of Jerusalem, wrote her most recent book on the subject: Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France.

Before you go, maybe check out this interview with Nathan: Q & A With Joan Nathan: Her New Book, Jewdar + The Secret French Matzo Society. Since it's useful (and polite) to know a bit about the person in front of you and why she's really interested in, say, regional variations of sauerkraut. And maybe, if you ask really nicely, she'll answer questions about city food policy and Sephardic cuisine.

LA Weekly