The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook

Mireille Guiliano, Author Atria Books $24.99 (298p) ISBN 978-1-4391-4896-9

In this, the logical next step for the author of 2004's bestseller French Women Don't Get Fat, Guiliano stretches what amounts to a single weight loss tactic-don't eat so much-into a second book-length weight-loss guide, this time with recipes. Though they're meant to be nourishing and satisfying in small portions, Guiliano's recipes are devoid of nutritional information and, in many cases, descriptions of the finished dishes. Unremarkable but perfectly acceptable recipes abound, including sweet potato french fries, Spaghetti Carbonara, Ratatouille, chocolate mousse, and panna cotta, with occasional standouts like Eric Ripert's luxurious Croque Monsieur, incorporating brioche, caviar, smoked salmon and Jarlsberg cheese. In all, Guiliano seems more concerned with luxe details (tips on opening and preserving champagne, though salient, set the tone), and never misses an opportunity to talk up her jet-setting lifestyle and TV appearances; as such, her self-regarding commentary is as likely to irritate as to inspire. Somewhat ironically, Guiliano's best advice comes in a tacked-on chapter inspired by the frequently asked questions of readers and television hosts, including sound advice on sodium, exercise, and getting families into better eating habits. Fans of the franchise will likely be satisfied, but those unfamiliar with Guiliano's approach will find this volume lacking.