Event Moderator: Chef Evan Mallett, chef-owner of Black Trumpet restaurant and author

Named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Publishers Weekly.

In Dirt, Bill Buford turns his inimitable attention to the food of France. Baffled by the language, but convinced that he can master the art of French cooking—or at least get to the bottom of why it is so revered—he begins what becomes a five-year odyssey by shadowing the esteemed French chef Michel Richard, in Washington, D.C. But when Buford (quickly) realizes that a stage in France is necessary, he—with his wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow—travel to Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Studying at L’Institut Bocuse, cooking at the storied, Michelin-starred La Mère Brazier, enduring the endless hours and exacting rigeur of the kitchen, Buford becomes a man obsessed—with proving himself on the line, proving that he is worthy of the gastronomic secrets he’s learning, and proving that French cooking actually derives from (mon dieu!) the Italian.

With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterly ability to immerse himself—and us—in his surroundings, Bill Buford has written the definitive deep dive into the world of French cuisine.

Bill Buford is the author of Heat and Among the Thugs. He has received a Marshall Scholarship, a James Beard Award, and the Comune di Roma’s Premio Sandro Onofri for narrative reportage. He joined The New Yorker in 1995, where he has been the fiction editor, a staff writer, and a regular contributor.


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