Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 10:57 pm est

‘Little Paris Kitchen’ brings French homecooking to dorms

Posted on February 4, 2014 | by Chandler West

via RachelKhoo.com

Many students who are interested in improving their cooking skills this semester may struggle with the confines of small dorm kitchens and a lack of specialized cooking equipment. These students can find a fun solution in Rachel Khoo’s “The Little Paris Kitchen,” published by Chronicle Books in 2012.

Khoo, a food creative from the United Kingdom who studied patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and later hosted her own cooking series on BBC, developed the “120 simple but classic French recipes” from her small Parisian kitchen with only a miniature oven and two gas rings.

The book’s recipes range from “French Basics” and “Everyday Cooking” to “Snack Time” and “Aperitif.” All the recipes can be prepared with minimal space and equipment.

The section titled “Sweet Treats” is particularly enticing, mostly due to the author’s training in patisserie. Khoo includes simplified adaptations of classic French desserts including crème caramel, crème brûlée and apple millefeuille.

The savory recipes such as the spring lamb stew, the ratatouille and the creamy potato bake allow even inexperienced cooks with limited resources to prepare impressive meals. They lend themselves to both dinner parties for large groups of friends and single-serving suppers for busy weeknights.

The author also utilizes her British background with recipes for British classics such as bangers ‘n’ mash, but brings these full circle with a touch of French style or influence.

The book also provides a helpful guide to French basics in the back, explaining the rudimentary elements of the cuisine to cooks who may be unfamiliar with them. The explanations are accessible and direct, with entertaining personal anecdotes from the author sprinkled throughout.

The book itself is enjoyable to flip through. With thick pages and stunning photography by David Loftus, the steep $35 price tag is not regrettable, especially if roommates share one copy. Some readers may find the abundance of photos of the author herself in cute Parisian cafe scenes a little superfluous, but others will appreciate these photos and the picture of Parisian lifestyle that they create.

A well-written cookbook, “The Little Paris Kitchen” will likely play a part in transforming dorm cooking from a nuisance to a joy.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 4 print edition. Chandler West is the dining editor. Email her at dining@nyunews.com.


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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