Dining with Marcel Proust


Dining with Marcel Proust

A Practical Guide to French Cuisine of the Belle Epoque

Shirley King
Foreword by James Beard

At Table Series

155 pages


June 2006


$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Marcel Proust's literary masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu overflows with brilliant, minutely described accounts of food and drink drawn from the author's vivid memories. After all, it was the taste of one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, dipped into a cup of tea, that first impelled Proust into “a remembrance of things past.” He wrote with relish and exactitude about Françoise, the family cook in Illiers-Combray, the restaurant at the Grand Hôtel Balbec, meals at Rivebelle, La Raspelière, and the Guermantes' in Paris.

Shirley King, a professional chef and lifelong lover of Proust's works, was inspired to draw these two strands together into this tribute to a master: a collection of recipes representing the best of classical French cuisine from Proust's belle époque, ranging from the sophisticated elaboration of lobster à l'américaine or truffled partridge to the simplicity of croque-monsieur. King combines practical instruction, quotations from Proust's works, and rich illustrations in a way that will charm every lover of Proust and every cook.

Author Bio

Shirley King (1931–2005) was the author of the classic cookbook Fish, the Basics: An Illustrated Guide to Selecting and Cooking Fresh Seafood and Pampille's Table: Recipes and Writings from the French Countryside from Marthe Daudet's “Les Bons Plats de France,” available in a Bison Books edition. She worked for more than twenty-five years as a chef, caterer, consultant, writer, and instructor.


"The definitive volume on the foods that are mentioned in great detail throughout the works of Proust. . . . A delightfully informative book."—New York Times

"The At Table series published by the University of Nebraska Press provides several welcome additions to the culinary library. Shirley King’s Dining with Marcel Proust, first published in 1979, is a natural, given what even someone who has not read Proust knows about him: master of the evocative, sensory life and, of course, the source of that famous passage about those madeleines."—Bloomsbury Review

Also of Interest