Plat Du Jour – A Book Review


Plat Du Jour

Is there anything more French than the plat du jour?

It’s my favourite thing to order when we’re eating out in France. I love the fact that restaurants advertise their dish of the day on blackboards out the front of the restaurants. I also love how the plat or menu du jour can stretch your travel dollars, something I wrote about in this post.

With all of that as background, I was very keen to get my hands on Susan Herrmann Loomis’ cookbook Plat Du Jour. French Dinners Made Easy. Susan wrote the lovely On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town, a ‘memoir with recipes’ and she also runs a cooking school in Normandy. It’s safe to say that my expectations of this book were high. It’s also safe to say that I wasn’t disappointed.

Title: ’Plat Du Jour. French Dinners Made Easy.

Author: Susan Herrmann Loomis.

Published: 2021 by The Countryman Press, Hardcover,  352 pages.

What I Liked:

  • The speculoo recipe. I’m a human of relatively simple tastes. Which might explain why I love the small, packaged spice biscuits that seemingly come along with any coffee you order in France. Whenever we arrive in France, I’m always excited to unwrap my first speculoo – which apparently were first created in Belgium. Despite my love of these humble cookies, it had never occurred to me to go looking for a recipe…so you can imagine how delighted I was to find a recipe for speculoos in Plat Du Jour. I can now whip up a batch of these cookies any time I like. The recipe is super simple, and the house smells divine as the speculoos are baking. Safe to say this recipe catapulted Plat Du Jour straight into my top 10 favourite cook books.
  • The sheer volume of recipes that I cook from Plat Du Jour. This is a massive cook book and the dishes on offer all deserve their place on a blackboard outside a French bistro or café. In fact, on my first flick through, I remembering nodding as I came across SO many dishes that I’ve ordered as a plat du jour over the years.You’ll find recipes for every occasion in this generous book, which makes it incredibly helpful if you want to bring a taste of France into your everyday life.
  • The fact that the recipes are written with an international audience in mind. Whether you prefer cooking using metric, imperial or cup measures, every recipe gives you the conversions. While it’s not a deal breaker to convert a recipe to your measurement of while you’re cooking, I have to say that I really appreciate recipes that have already done the work for you. I also really appreciate the little tips and tricks that Susan has shared throughout the book. They make the whole book feel like it’s a friend sharing the recipe with you.
  • The end papers. They feature a beautiful blue floral design, which is repeated on the book’s spine and on the chapter markers. I just love it – I wonder if it comes as a wallpaper?

What I Wasn’t So Sure About:

  • I honestly can’t fault Plat Du Jour in the slightest. It is a book that will please both experienced cooks and beginners in the kitchen. I recommend it for anyone who wants to bring delicious, everyday French food into their home. And did I mention the speculoo recipe?

Have you come across Plat Du Jour? Do you have a favourite recipe from the book? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

This is an unsolicited post. No compensation of any kind has been received from the author, publisher or parties connected with Plat Du Jour.


About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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2 thoughts on “Plat Du Jour – A Book Review

  • KristieO'Sullivan

    Merci for this great review Janelle – it was very timely. It’s my birthday and my husband had been asking me what I’d like as a present – the book will be perfect, can’t wait to try making speculoos.

    • Janelle Post author

      Happy Birthday Kristie!!! This book will make a lovely gift. And I hope you enjoy the speculoos. I had to whip up a batch after writing the review!!