"For all around cooking, I still really love my Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells" Weibel says. "It was one of the first cook books I bought and I often refer back to it."
Bistro Cooking was published in 1989, and has around 200 recipes that aim to simplify French cooking and make it achievable for the home cook. Wells has published numerous books on French cooking, and also worked as a restaurant critic in France. She is the only woman -- and only foreigner -- to have ever served as a restaurant critic for a major French publication.
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Weibel still has fond memories of some of the first recipes she cooked from the book, almost 20 years ago. "I remember peeling exactly 40 cloves of garlic for the roast leg of lamb! In those days it took me a long time.
"I cooked the leg of lamb for an old college friend who was coming to visit me in my new apartment in Darien, Connecticut. I had just returned from living in Switzerland, he drove up from Philadelphia, our college town. I just had a microwave and a sink, but a lovely view. I bought a portable electric burner and cooked on my hearth. I served it with La Crema pinot noir. We talked all night long. I felt very soigné!"
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