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Laurent Gras: My Provence - An exclusive cookbook launch at the French Consulate

It was, truly, this self-professed Francophile's dream come true:  An invitation to the press launch luncheon for Laurent Gras' first cookbook, "Laurent Gras: My Provence."  At the French Consulate.  I mean, come, on, seriously?   I'm still pinching myself! 

In anticipation of this event, I wanted to come prepared.  So, I did some research.  Having already been familiar with Laurent Gras, I was fascinated to learn that his very first cookbook - being published this week - is not even a "book," at all.  It's an app.  And solely an app...

With the launch of "Laurent Gras: My Provence," digital-only publishing group, Alta Editions (which, in literary terms, means "the first edition of a book"), is introducing the world to a new kind of first edition:  "One that is designed to take advantage of important new developments in technology and, more importantly, to help people learn how to be better cooks." 

  • Inspired by the much-loved Time-Life Books Series (from the 1960's and 1970's), Alta Editions will offer their eBook titles under a subscription model with a new book by a different chef released each quarter.   
    • All titles will be available as feature-rich, interactive HTML5 e-books
  • While the layout for the e-books was created with an iPad in mind, it will also be accessible on both Macs and PCs.  Versions for smartphones and other tablets (Android) will soon follow.
    • FYI:  I don't own an iPad, nor do I think I ever will.  So, I'll be one of those peeps who accesses this eBook via my PC.

OK, so for all of my fellow 'non techie' folks out there, I've broken this all down in laymen's terms:  The idea behind the e-cookbook was to combine the very best aspects of both traditional print and digital cooking apps.  The result?  A paperless "cookbook" complete with interactive recipes, ingredient lists, helpful cooking tips, high-resolution photography, inspiring stories, instructive videos, social media sharing, direct user interaction, and note sharing (with the chef and other users).   

Pretty cool, eh?

Viewing the e-cookbook on an iPadWhile Chef's cooking typically showcases modernist techniques and Asian influences, the forty recipes in "Laurent Gras: My Provence" are a tribute to the flavors of his upbringing in Antibes, on France's stunning Cote d'Azur... 

...But don't let the words "France" and "Provence" intimidate you!  With an emphasis on freshness and seasonality, it was Laurent's insistence that everything required for these recipes be available at a good grocery store and/or gourmet shop.  "If Whole Foods or Wegmans or Publix doesn't have it, you don't need it."  

So, have I piqued your interest?  Do you want to check out "Laurent Gras: My Provence" for yourself?  Click here to pre-register and get exclusive access to the eBook prior to the public launch!


Upon my arrival to the French Consulate's second floor, I was greeted by two dashing young men - with deliriously sexy French accents - serving Rose and sparkling water.  But, since I had to return to work 30-40 minutes later, I opted for the latter.  Sigh.

Between iPad tutorials of the eBook, I snooped around the Consulate's stunning second floor.

I also made sure to sample the lovely passed hors d'ouevres, catered by Daniel Boulud's Feast and Fetes.  

Smoked salmon "trifle" on toastGougeres!While taking a peek at the makeshift dining room, I caught a glimpse of the lovely menu for the 1pm luncheon that I would be missing.  :(


Although, for me, it was short and sweet (work calls!), this was one of the most fabulous and unique events that I've had the pleasure of attending in my 5-year food blogging career! 


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

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