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Jan 10, 2023

Summary Award-winning food and travel writer Sylvie Bigar found herself in 2008 “writing more about food than travel and had turned into a stroller-pushing Upper West Side Mama.” Needing to “escape,” as she admitted, ”she decided to head to France to research cassoulet, that “slow-cooked carnivorous orgy of pork, lamb, duck, beans, and herbs stewed together in an earthenware tureen.” A quick, fun story, she thought. “I couldn’t have been more wrong,” she discovered.

Guest — Sylvie Bigar was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and lives in New York City. Her writing has appeared widely, including in The New York Times, Washington Post, Food & Wine,, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Edible, Departures, Travel & Leisure, and National Geographic Traveler.

Sylvie co-authored chef Daniel Boulud’s definitive Daniel: My French Cuisine,  Living Art: Style Your Home with Flowers with floral artist and designer Olivier Giugni, and the recently published Cassoulet Confessions: Food. France, Family and the Stew That Saved My Soul.

√ Where, what, and when people eat gives you a sense of their culture.

√ Cassoulet is a bean-based stew with duck confit, sausage, pork, vegetables, and various herbs.

√ Sylvie’s investigation of the complex story of cassoulet — its history, ingredients, method of cooking, and the region where it originated — became a metaphor for her investigation into her personal history.

Links / References
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Cassoulet Confessions: Food, France, Family and the Stew that Saved My Soul


Wall Street Journal

New York Times “Front Burner”

New York Post

Food & Wine