The Farm to Table French Phrasebook

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Nov 24, 2014 / 0 comments

Whether you're an old hand at visiting France, preparing for your first trip there, or just really LOVE French cuisine, I've got the book for you. The Farm to Table French Phrasebook: Master the Culture, Language, and Savoir Faire of French Cuisine, written by French native Victoria Mas, is a much-needed addition to the various ways of learning about French culture. In my mind, it's one of the most important - because understanding food is essential to understanding France.


The Farm to Table French Phrasebook


Let me tell you what I love about this book (well, I love ALL of it, so let's break it down). I love that with this book, you get a glimpse into what makes French culture so unique - and intriguing. I love that it's a guide to eating - AND shopping. I love that the essence of eating in France is broken down into understandable bits, so that you can learn the language, culture, and not feel like a complete doof while trying to figure out how (and what) to order. I love learning the words for things, so that I can work on my French, as well as visualize the deliciousness. I love the illustrations by Meera Lee Patel, simple and beautiful. I also love the recipes. Oh yes, for no book on French food would really be complete without recipes!


Inside The Farm to Table French Phrasebook


The sections in the book include:

Eating the French Way

  • Meals
  • Where to eat and drink

Grocery Shopping

  • Shopping
  • Specialty stores
  • Produce markets
  • At the butcher shop
  • At the fishmonger's
  • At the cheese shop
  • At the produce store


Specialty stores! From The Farm to Table French Phrasebook



Traditional French Dishes

In the French Kitchen

  • The French Kitchen
  • Recipes


Whether shopping at a market, or making la soupe à l’oignon, le gratin Savoyard, or l’île flottante, once you have your French food vocabulary down, you've made enormous strides into learning how to eat (and live) well, French-style.

What is most impressive about The Farm to Table French Phrasebook is that it is open, friendly, clear, and very concise. From notes on French grammar and pronunciation to explanations of everything to do with eating in France, this is one of the easiest ways I've found on learning a new language. The extra bonus is that it's something we all love to do, which makes learning it even more fun. The book is also a window into a culture that values food, tastes, and eating. From the sentences to learn to the vocabulary itself (including very honest phrases), this is the best French lesson I ever could have imagined.


Honest vocabulary! From The Farm to Table French Phrasebook


For who hasn't said, when in France,

C'est la première fois que je commande deux desserts (this is the first time I've ordered two desserts!)?

Yes. We've been there.


We were lucky enough to catch up with Victoria, to ask about her book, the backstory, the beautiful illustrations, and more. Here's what she had to say.


Victoria Mas, author of The Farm to Table French Phrasebook


Please tell us about your book, The Farm to Table French Phrasebook...

The Farm to Table French Phrasebook is a comprehensive guide for anyone in love with or eager to learn about French cuisine. Not only does it approach food within a cultural context, it also includes many useful French phrases and terms for your upcoming trip to France.


What inspired you to write this book?

French cuisine being a topic I am particularly passionate about, I was thrilled and honored when Ulysses Press asked me to pen a book on it. I saw it as an opportunity to share my passion and hopefully provide entertaining, interesting, and helpful information on French food.


Research!! What was the best part of researching this book? Any challenges?

One of the pleasures of writing this book was to learn about topics I was not aware of before, notably about wine and cheese. Of course, I could name a few wines and I had tasted a pretty good number of different cheeses; however I discovered how complex those subjects actually were. Each wine, each cheese has a specific history, and both involve an impressive list of characteristics that I found incredible to learn about. A glass of wine or a bite of cheese will never taste the same after this!


The illustrations are so beautiful - can you please tell us about the artist?

Meera Lee Patel is a gifted artist who specializes in watercolor illustrations. I find her simple yet refined illustrations to match perfectly with the tone of the book. You may learn more about her talent and work at


What might readers be surprised by, in your book?

I believe that any subject culturally-related, such as daily habits or traditions, might surprise and interest the reader. For instance, a meal in France is not to be eaten on the go (food carts actually don't exist). One must take time to have lunch or dinner as eating is an important moment of the day that's not to be neglected.


What's up next for you?

I currently have a few fiction works in progress...


Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

I hope that The Farm to Table French Phrasebook will have readers take a trip to their local french bakery or restaurant!


The Farm to Table French Phrasebook



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Note: We received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Ulysses Press - thank you!

Author and cover photos courtesy and copyright Ulysses Press; the rest Wandering Educators