Have you ever left a bistro wondering what it would be like to whip up a French gourmet meal on your own? While the task may seem daunting, have no fear, as the sights and smells of France’s most coveted delicacies can now be found in your own kitchen. After searching through hundreds of blogs, these 40 bloggers stood out and proved that they know their stuff when it comes to French cooking. The blogs are separated into the following categories: health, pastries, imagery use, instructional value, and celebrity status. Remember, anyone is capable of being his or her own master chef. Bon Appétit!
Celebrity Blogs: These eight bloggers have been in the business for a while, and they all know what it means to be a French chef. Some are old, some are new, but all have a track record of proven success.
1. Paris by Mouth - Paris by Mouth is an amalgamation of “celebrity” French foodies getting together to celebrate their unique thoughts and recipes from France. They know all the right places, a must go-to for all things Paris related.
2. Francois Simon - A Famous food critic, Francois Simon, in Simon Says, pays special attention to particular Parisian delicacies and restaurants that can’t be missed. While he has picked out various cities across the globe and critiqued their cuisine, it is the French capital that shines in this blog.
3. La Tartine Gourmande – La Tartine Gourmande is a beautiful site that been recognized by multiple news outlets and was named 2010’s “Special Interest Blog” on savour.com. LTG not only offers French recipes for beginners to experts, but it also offers the “life stories” behind such recipes. For those with special dietary requests, there is an extensive section of gluten-free and vegetarian recipes.
4. Dorie Greenspan - In the Kitchen and on the Road with Dorie is a blog written by the one and only Dorie Greenspan. Dorie has a massive following not only on the web, but also with her array of successful cookbooks. Her French side comes out once a week, via her online supper club, “French Fridays with Dorie.” It’s easy to sign up and become a member with two requirements: you must have an email address and affinity for the tastiest of French foods.
5. Patricia Wells – Esteemed chef, Patricia Wells, offers classes and her own books, but really thrives in this lively blog. She maintains a collection of books, cookware, and even provides a glossary for the Franco-challenged aspiring chefs. A natural teacher, she is able to instruct online, which is easier said than done.
6. Seven Spoons - While this blog could be categorized for it’s imagery (and therefore ability to make anyone become a chef), Tara, of Ontario, has already been recognized by the greats. She feeds off everyone’s everyday items to the fanciest of foie gras.
7. Orangette – Orangette is an inspiring story of Molly Wizenberg, who went from quitting her Ph.D. program to becoming a successful blogger, writer, and restaurateur. Their site explores the art and pleasure of cooking, rather than a multitude of recipes. Worth a look for those who are inspired to open their own restaurant some day.
8. Alexander Lobrano – Hungry in Paris chronicles an American in Paris, Alexander Lobrano, as he dishes about Paris’ latest and greatest. A well-known restaurant critic around the world, he shares his experiences from the best restaurants, rather than giving us his own recipes. He has traveled to many cities studying all types of food, but it continually drawn back to Paris.
Healthy: These eight blogs are here to show you that French food does not have to contribute to your waste line. Check out these blogs for the lighter side of French fare.
1. Rosa Jackson – Rosa Jackson’s edible adventures describes a teacher’s methods of eating the best while looking your best. While most recipes are said to be healthy, all are sure to be tasty as well.
2. My French Cuisine – My French Cuisine is a California-based blog that pays extra attention to “going green” while cooking up the best of French fare. While there are many regular full-meal recipes, MFC has a long list of a la carte items for the side.
3. The Sabbatical Chef – The Sabbatical Chef’s journey takes us on a 6 month vacation in Provence. Sticking with fresh fruits and vegetables, this blogs stays up to date with any and everything seasonal. The bright images convey the food’s freshness, imaginable through the computer screen.
4. Chocolate and Zucchini - Chocolate and Zucchini is an authentic French blog written by a Parisian woman who fell in love with food in, oddly enough, California. While she emphasizes that chocolate is important to the mind, body, and soul, there is a strong focus on health, and how to create lighter versions of traditionally heavy French recipes.
5. A World in a Pan - A World in a Pan, authored by Laura, a culinary instructor, takes you on a journey of her foreign travels and healthy eating around the world. A self-proclaimed Foodie-Nomad, Laura uses other cultural influences to whip up some flavorful French dishes.
6. Joie de Vivre - Joie de vivre: An Amateur gourmet’s guide is exactly what it sounds like, a gourmet guide for the amateurs. This French chef is an American woman who has lost 34 pounds after reading the book French Women Don’t Fat, using the book as her guide to a healthy lifestyle.
7. My French Cuisine – My French Cuisine provides healthy recipes for everyone under the sun. If you’ve got an allergy, there’s an alternative recipe that will still cater to your needs. Besides providing a number of options, the pictures on this site provide vivid images of the delicious foods to be cooked.
8. French Fork – In French Fork, Laetitia Bertrand, a native of France, explores her move to Texas, while maintaining her French culinary background in her new home. She shares many fresh and easy recipes that will appease anyone looking for lighter fare.
Imagery: These five blogs shine when it comes to using imagery to display their gorgeous recipes. The captivating photos on each site will have you checking out the archives.
- 1. Whisk – Whisk: A food blog specializes in French comfort foods, and has a portfolio of vivid images that will immediately get any eager cook behind the stove. Throughout the blog there are inspirational foodie poems, as well as occasional interviews of renowned French chefs.
2. Gherkins and Tomatoes – Gherkins and Tomatoes/ Cornichons and Tomatoes focuses on the France’s influence over worldwide palettes. This blog covers Franco-inspired recipes from The Republic of Congo to Shanghai, and each recipe is centered around a fresh fruit or vegetable.
3. Kitchen at Camont - Camont: Kate Hill’s Culinary Retreat in Gascony is a French foodie’s dream blog, set on an 18th Century farm in the heart of Gascony. This site provides breathtaking images of the freshest of delicacies, from start to finish. The farm is home to an artisan butchery and charcuterie, to name a couple of the picturesque features. This is the real deal when it comes to meals made from scratch, and if you’re lucky, you can take cooking classes on site at the farm.
4. Kitchen-Notebook – My Kitchen notebook is a beautiful display of the initial components that make a French feast. From the orchards to the harvest, Lucy Vanel covers each step of the way. Each photo will have you singing up for French cooking classes– or running to the nearest bistro.
5. Croque Camille – Croque Camille is an expat that has up and left for France, making her friends from home green with envy. She uses great images to display all of the delicious new recipes she has learned living in France. While she has a background in pastries, there are many comforting savory recipes to fill you up and keep you warm during the winter months.
Pastry: Some might say pastries are the cornerstones to the French kitchen. These eight blogs specialize in patisserie, and will please any sweet-tooth.
1. David Lebovitz - David Lebovitz is another celebrity blogger who has served as Master Pastry Chef at a multitude of French restaurants around the US. Author of The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City, David has been around the block a few times and knows his stuff.
2. Bake in Paris – Bake in Paris is a pristine site with beautiful images that will have any reader salivating instantly. The blogger is a graphic designer whose artistic instincts play a pivotal role in the construction of each pastry. Undoubtedly, these pastries taste as good as they look.
3. Paris Pastry -
Paris Pastry is a sweet blog out of Holland that is up to date with anything seasonal. The blogger adds a French twist to different cultures’ cuisines while staying within the realm of each culture’s traditional foods. An added bonus is the occasional poll for the blogger’s next recipe, which engages the followers, and shows that the author uses feedback.
4. Paris Patisseries - The Pastry Shops of Paris – Paris Patisseries is a lovely depiction of the true Parisian pastries. Not that they are impossible to replicate elsewhere, but there’s just something about seeing them gently placed in a Parisian pastry shop. Great imagery allows for time well-spent browsing, and the urge to book your flight to Paris.
5. Poires au Chocolat – Poires au chocolat is a pastry blog that maintains a hefty list of French pastries and sweets. Author, Emma, an aspiring English pastry chef, shares some of her favorite sweet treats, while giving a detailed how-to every step of the way.
6. Dessert First – Dessert First is a lively blog that mixes some American and French pastries, but primarily focuses on classic French patisserie. The Author, Anita, is passionate about her sweets, and also about her photography. Check out this site for some of the best images of French pastries out there.
7. The Pastry Case – The Pastry Case is an extensive blog that has endless pastry and dessert recipes. Megan, the author, focuses on French cuisine, and talks about her recent days at Pastry School. A timely blogger that posts often, Megan will have you checking back daily to see the latest sweets.
8. FoodBeam – Fanny, author of The Foodbeam, invites you on her journey of bringing opening up her own cupcake shop. As a former Parisian, she fuses cupcake recipes and other pastry alternatives with French flair.
Instructional: While some things are easier in person, these 11 instructive blogs have made it easy to learn in your own kitchen. Clear and specific, these bloggers want to spread their joy with those willing to learn.
- 1. French Cooking for Dummies – French cooking for Dummies is an instructive site that makes whipping up a crème brulee seem like a cinch. Whether or not that is the case, the site provides detailed instructions for not only the novice, but for the professionals as well. The photos of each end-recipe make it hard for anyone to hesitate to become a French chef.
2. Foodie Froggy - A bilingual blog for both French and English readers. While there are many recipes for readers to try, her extensive collection of Parisian restaurant reviews stands out and supports her title of a true “Foodie Froggy.” For those looking to reach outside the box when trying new restaurants, view her section entitled: My ‘Off the Beaten Path’ Paris.
3. 18th C Cuisine – 18thC Cuisine is a blog that focuses on the spices, herbs, and preliminary preparations that make French Foods fabulous, stemming from 18th Century. Author Carolyn Smith-Kizer educates us about how French foods have evolved over time, giving us a cooking and history lesson in one.
4. Playing with Fire and Water – Playing with Fire and Water, written by a freelance chef in Connecticut, invites you to her “playground” where she is learning as she goes. Her recipes range in difficulty, but consistently are written with clear and precise instructions for everyone.
5. Easy French Food – A cutesy blog that demonstrates the simplicities of the French foods that the least refined palettes are still comfortable with- Madeleines, casseroles, parfaits. Author, Kim, demonstrates the fun and stress-free way of becoming a French chef.
6. Chez Megane - Chez Megane is an American blogger returned from Paris, with a basic blog highlighting simple, yet delicious recipes. Each recipe is backed up with an enticing picture, proving that French recipes are possible for any eager cook.
7. Made in Cantal – Made in Cantal is a culinary blog focusing more on specific classes and routines for standard French cooking, rather than just a multitude of recipes. The site highlights the best institutes for culinary studies, as well as locations (outside of France) to study the art of French cooking.
8. Cestbon - Gourmet French Cuisine Blog is a simplistic way of providing recipes with the occasional video for demonstration. The blogger is able to take the reader on his/her many travels throughout foreign lands, making French food in various locations.
9. Cooking Issues - Cooking Issues is the French Culinary Institute’s blog concerning technology’s role in cooking. While many photos contain people instead of recipes, the role of the blog is important for those looking to learn about food preparation.
10. My French Cooking – My French Cooking is a straight-shooting blog: Affordable Sophistication. French Cuisine at Home. This blog shows the average Joe how to eat a sophisticated French meal, while staying within their budget.
11. Chez Richard – Richard, of Chez Richard, shares his 3rd generation French-Family recipes with the world on this instructional site. While listing his favorite recipes to follow, he also suggests proper wine pairings that are sure to spice up any meal.