Replay Event: A Table with Bill Buford and Nathalie George!
What does it take to master French cooking? This is the question that drives Bill Buford to abandon his perfectly happy life in New York City and –with his wife and three-year-old twin sons in town — move to Lyon, the so-called gastronomic capital of France. But what was meant to be six months in a new city turns into a unique, wild five-year odyssey, which he shares with us in Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking (Vintage, éd. de L’Olivier).
The art of French cooking is precisely what Nathalie George has inherited from her beloved grandmother Gilberte, who taught her everything she knows about cooking. After a complicated childhood with well-off and free-spirited parents, Nathalie embarked on a successful career in fashion and the art world, which leads her to travel the world. 15 years ago, Nathalie George lost all her wealth following troubles with the Tax Department. Forced to move into two (student) rooms of only 6 meters square, in a 6th floor walk-up apartment, she held on to what was most important to her: her books, her cats, and the dinner parties she regularly throws for her neighbors and friends. And this was the inspiration for her precious, uniquely delightful cookbook, La Cuisine du 6eme étage: du piano au réchaud (éditions Hérodios).
On April 16 at 3pm, Bill Buford and Nathalie George discussed their respective adventures in cooking, and reflect on their common belief that cooking is essential to civilization. The conversation was moderated by Jessica H. Green, a lecturer at the International Wine Center.
BILL BUFORD was the fiction editor of the New Yorker for eight years, where he first came upon Walton Ford’s work to illustrate some of the stories he published. He is now a New Yorker staff writer. He was also the founding editor of Granta and has written two books, Among the Thugs and Heat: An Amateur’s Advantures as a Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. He lives in New York City with his wife Jessica Green, and their two sons.
After a successful career in fashion and the art world, NATHALIE GEORGE is now retired. She does not live any more in a tiny room but in a studio of a Social Building. She is still very active and the most important thing for her, is fighting to convey her message about the importance of the quality of the food and the capacity (or possibility) for each one to eat well. She is the author of the bestselling cookbook/memoir: La Cuisine du 6ème étage: du piano au réchaud (éditions Hérodios).
JESSICA H. GREEN turned to wine professionally after a career in publishing and academia. She has worked as a book and magazine editor, a literary agent, book doctor, and ghost writer—at Alfred A. Knopf, The New Yorker, ICM, Miramax, and others. Her interest in wine was piqued during a high school year in Rennes, France. After studying English and Italian at UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Bologna, she earned her MA in Renaissance Studies at Yale. She taught at Yale and at St. Paul’s School. Currently a lecturer at the International Wine Center, she earned her Diploma and Certified Educator status from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Her writing on wine has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, American Express Publications, Beverage Dynamics, JancisRobinson.com, and the SOMM journal. She is a candidate for the Master of Wine, of which there are now 416 worldwide. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Bill Buford, and twin sons, who are completing their International Baccalaureate in English and French next month!