David Lebovitz, acclaimed pastry chef, cookbook author and blogger, welcomed me into his almost-renovated Parisian kitchen (see his original kitchen here). He was as delightful in person as he is on the page and screen, even amidst ongoing construction. Join me for a brief interview and catch-up session with one of our favorite bon vivants.
David Lebovitz first enchanted me with his many informative, reliable cookbooks then caught me hook, line and sinker with his eponymous blog. From there, his travel/food/life memoir and cookbook, The Sweet Life in Paris, had me in stitches. I'm someone who's lived abroad as well, and he perfectly captures the cultural differences, confusion and joys of life in a foreign country.
Currently, David has a lot of different projects going in several modes and it's clear he loves what he does. His passion for this work comes across in his unpretentious and lovely photographs as well as his in-depth take on life in Paris and on the road. And his recipes, well, they're fantastic.
David has a new book in the recipe testing phase. It's being published by Ten Speed Press, so we all have that to look forward to. This book will be a mix of recipes, stories and images. He's also currently traveling in Israel (with our own managing editor, Cambria!) to explore the food and culture.
Having just moved into his long-awaited renovated apartment, you'd think he may want to relax and kick back a bit; but David has energy to spare for his blog, friends and latest endeavors. His curiosity in cooking and writing is contagious. Read on to our interview to learn more. Thanks David!
1) You mentioned you started your blog in 1999 (wow!), did you always have a strong passion to tell stories about food, life and experiences? did you journal as a kid?
DL: I started my site when my first book, Room for Dessert, came out — because I thought that this fairly new medium (the internet) would be a great way to communicate with readers and other bakers. It was also a way to tell stories and share recipes as well, which blogging software allowed me to do with greater ease.
2) How has living in France continued to inspire your work, writing and confections?
DL: Everything in France has a story, from confectionery shops to the brooms the street sweepers use (which are green plastic, made to resemble branches) — so I'm constantly stoked to write about the city, its quirks, my cultural missteps, and – of course – the food.
3) Where has blogging taken you that you never expected?
DL: I've networked with some incredible people, including other bloggers from around the world and made a ton of new friends. I've also been on a few trips that were exceptionally interesting, which I was able to write about and share my stories on the site. Of course, readers have been great and a constant source of encouragement.
• Visit David's blog: David Lebovitz
More from David Lebovitz on The Kitchn:
• Kitchen Tour: At Home in Paris with David Lebovitz
• Breakfast with a Blogger: Honeyed Cereale Toast with David Lebovitz
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)