Clémentine in the Kitchen

Softcover sale price: $11.50 (Regularly $22.95)

“French cooking for Americans was never the same after Clémentine came into our kitchens . . . .This tale of a cook taught us that we, too, could turn out a splendid home-style French meal in our very own American kitchens.”—Julia Child

When Clémentine in the Kitchen first appeared in 1943, it immediately captivated American readers, and a new edition, revised by Narcisse Chamberlain, taught a generation of cooks that French family cooking could easily flourish in their own kitchens. Written by the artist Samuel Chamberlain under the pen name Phineas Beck, it recounts the gastronomic adventures of the Beck/Chamberlain family during the decade that their beguiling Burgundian cook Clémentine produced wonderful French meals for them, both in France and in their New England home in Marblehead.

This edition includes a delicious collection of more than 170 traditional recipes—classic dishes, regional specialties, and much that is useful for special occasions. But the most compelling are plain and old-fashioned. These are the dishes that identify the Clémentine family style, a style so French, so civilized, so knowing in its use of ingredients that it cannot become impractical or ever go out of date: filets de sole au vin blanc, boeuf à la mode, endives braisées— trophies of la cuisine bourgeoise that never fail to please.

Clémentine in the Kitchen introduces one of the most lovable and entertaining characters who ever picked up a whisk. She is the ultimate bonne femme and a nostalgic reminder of a long-gone life when people were truly connected to the land.
—Ruth Reichl

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Samuel Chamberlain was an impressively prolific writer and graphic artist, with some dozens of titles to his name. At Gourmet magazine, he wrote the Clémentine column under the name Phineas Beck, a nom de plume he based on a French term for a gourmand, bec fin. Chamberlain attended the School of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lived for many years in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he did indeed introduce Clémentine of the famous column to the not-so-glorious challenges of American canned goods and supermarket produce.

Narcisse Chamberlain was a highly respected cookbook editor and writer, with more than 20 years as a senior editor at William Morrow under her belt. She also edited design books, having been a trained as a painter, and co-authored books with her father, Samuel Chamberlain and mother, Narcissa G. Chamberlain. Narcisse has her Bachelors from Bennington College, after which she began her career as a researcher, first for Time in New York City and then for Newsweek in Paris. She was also an editor for Gourmet in the '50s.