Chocolate & Zucchini is one of the first cookbooks to come from the mushrooming food blogosphere. Its author, Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier, recently hosted a luncheon at Manhattan's Brasserie LCB.

Why did you start your blog []?

The blog was a way for me to share my deep-rooted passion for food and cooking. I started it in English because back in 2003 all blogs were in English. It allowed me to communicate to a non-French audience what contemporary French cooking is about. A lot of people think of French cooking as heavy, complicated and fancy. My style of cooking is unfussy and unpretentious.

How has food blogging in France changed since you started?

I think it's gotten to the point where there are almost as many French-language food blogs as there are English-language food blogs. The French culture of food is all about the stories that surround the dishes. Each recipe comes with a story. A recipe just doesn't come out of the sky. It's a friend, or an accident, or a family recipe. Or it's just about what you have in the fridge that day, and, boy, that turned out well.

Now your blog gets 4.5 million hits a month, and 1,700 members participate in the online forums you've created.

A sense of community has developed around the Web site. It's extremely gratifying. It's this little place I had created with no further mission than to have a place to share stuff. And seeing the reaction I've gotten is very uplifting.

How is writing a cookbook different from blogging?

The blog's structure follows my whims and my life, whereas with the book there's a beginning, a middle and an end. But in terms of the voice and the way that I tell stories about the recipes, it's the same. I've made sure that out of the 76 recipes [in the book], 70 are new. I wouldn't want people who have been reading me for a while to buy the book and think, "I know all this stuff." I wanted to give them a reason to buy the book. And likewise for people who buy the book without knowing the blog, then they can log onto the blog and it's an open door.