Meeting my Culinary/Literary Hero, David Lebovitz

When I read via Twitter that La Cuisine would be hosting a book signing for my favorite cookbook author, I immediately RSVPed for the event. I didn’t care if I had to quit my job; I was going to be meeting David Lebovitz. 

La Cuisine Paris

So who is David Lebovitz? He’s a pastry chef turned blogger and author who left his job at Chez Panisse to move to Paris, where he’s been living for more than 10 years. He also writes a really funny and insightful food blog that I subscribe to and read religiously.

Almond Financier

Some of my previous attempts at recreating David Lebovitz’s genius: chocolate almond financiers and chocolate meringue cookies with a dark chocolate ganache.

All cards on the table? I had hatched a plan to go the book signing and jokingly-but-not-really-joking-at-all ask David if he needed a pastry assistant. As I am no stranger to free labor after years of interning in Chicago, I dreamed up a fantasy of chatting with David over madeleines in his tiny Parisian kitchen, discussing blogging strategies while sipping Mariage Frères tea.

I can’t really sum him up any better than The Daily Beast, who reviewed his novel, The Sweet Life in Paris as:

“An insouciant and instructive frolic, written in the same hepcat, casual-but-intelligent style familiar to readers of his blog.”

I have no idea what ‘insouciant’ or ‘hepcat’ mean, but I assume that they perfectly describe his book, as well as his style of writing.

Raspberry Macarons

I asked a friend back home about the idea of suggesting free pastry-based labor to David.

 “Would it be creepy if I just slipped my business card across the table and made a joke about working for him?”

“Uh, yeah. That would be creepy.”

But I was still going to go through with it. That’s how much I wanted to hang out with David Lebovitz.

That plan was thwarted when I finally saw him and completely forgot how to talk.

David Lebovitz

David is the dignified and bespectacled gentleman at right.

“So, what’s your name?” he asked when it was finally my turn to have my book signed.

“It’s Ashley.”

“Is that what you want me to write?”

“Oh, that’d be great.”  I then realized that I was a selfish jerk for getting a book made out to… me.

“It’s kind of a Christmas gift to myself,” I added, giggling nervously.

“Those are the best kind,” he said warmly.

Then he made some comments about html and spelling errors and I mumbled, “Okay, well thanks,” and quickly walked away.

So David, if you ever read this, I’m sorry I could barely talk when we met. It’s only because I think you’re super cool. And if you’re ever in need of a pastry assistant, taste tester, pot scrubber and/or kitchen bitch, I’m your girl.



David Lebovitz Cookbook

A special thanks to the girl I babysit, Zoe, for being an excellent sport about coming with me to the event. And if you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it! The whole world should probably know about David Lebovitz. As always I love hearing what you have to say through the comments below.

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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  1. Um….I love him and I am seriously jealous.

    A few years ago I met Stephen Sondheim, immediately began to tear up and couldn’t utter a word. He looked at me like I was insane…which I kind of was. It was insanely embarrassing, but oddly one of the best moments of life.
    Ashley Hufford recently posted..This Week I: (11/29/12-12/05/12)My Profile

    • I’m so glad to hear from a fellow Lebovitz fan! I guess we both have a thing for multi-talented older Jewish men? Haha.

  2. I adore all things David Lebovitz and used his blog recommendations to navigate in Paris during my October full-month stay. He is amazing! Ashley, you helped me too, especially with how to get water! Enjoying following your adventure!

    • I’m so glad to hear that, Linda! I swear that “un carafe d’eau” changed my life. Thank you for commenting, this made my day :)

  3. How cool! I love David’s writing. Also, if you have a chance to take a class at La Cuisine Paris while you are there, DO IT! I took a macaron class there while I was in Paris last year, and it was the highlight of my trip. Plus, isn’t the location just magnifique?
    Kristen recently posted..Furniture Makeover: BookcaseMy Profile

    • La Cuisine was the best! Plus free wine and macarons at an event never hurts, haha. And the location was so beautiful, right there next to the Hotel de Ville and the river!

  4. I absolutely love reading David Lebovitz’s and I thought that ‘The Sweet Life in Paris’ was fab! Your posts are great too and I love the fact that you also love Mika!

    • I’m so glad to hear from a fellow Mika fan! Whenever his songs come on the radio a smile just comes across my face. And thanks Dora, I hope you’ll stick around. :)

  5. Saw David’s reply to your tweet so I cam and read your blog post. Adorable! WIshing you the best of luck!


    • Well thank you for stopping by! It’s always great to connect with fellow Lebovitz fans :)

  6. I didn’t know you are a big fan of cooking :):) but I do now. So glad you met David, heard of him a lot recently :) Been looking for some more cooking inspiration on the Internet.
    Agness recently posted..5 Things to do to Travel in Malaga on the CheapMy Profile

    • I’m thinking about adding some of the recipes I’ve been learning in France, so maybe you’d have fun trying them!

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