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partners:Zester Daily contributing writer and illustrator L. John Harris has lived and worked in and around Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto since the 1960s. Since the sale of his cookbook publishing company, Aris Books, in 1990, Harris has worked as a journalist, cartoonist and documentary filmmaker. He is the author of "The Book of Garlic" (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975) and the graphic memoir "Foodoodles: From the Museum of Culinary History" (El Leon Literary Arts, 2010). A vintage guitar collector, Harris launched the nonprofit Harris Guitar Foundation in 2013 in collaboration with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

 

 

Stacked in a Parisian shop display case, these inexpensive croques can be taken home and reheated as snacks or light meals. Note the translation on the sales tag, “Toasted Ham,” directed, no doubt, at hungry Anglophone tourists. Credit: Copyright 2015 L. John Harris

You can judge a Parisian cafe by its croque. If a cafe can't get these simple ham and cheese sandwiches right, what hope is there for

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La Vie en Rose: Paris is known as the City of Light. But it's also the city of waiters, and neither the Eiffel Tower

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Main illustration: Café French: La Cocotte, La Coquette, Coco And Colette. Credit: Copyright 2015 L. John Harris

La Vie en Rose: Our Café French™ lesson today takes us from the luxe cafes of the Belle Epoch (1871-1914) to the louche cafes

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"Bread, Friends, Rabbit and Pain." Credit: L. John Harris

La Vie en Rose: Bread and pain. The staff of life and the pain of life. One could hardly imagine more disparate phenomena, n'est-ce

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Fresh Herb Meatballs are among the recipes featured in Michele Anna Jordan's book. Credit: Liza Gershman

Yes, meatballs are here again, those eternally returning spheres of gastronomic delight. Not high on anyone's culinary sophistication list, meatballs have an earthy attraction

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L. John Harris' Broom Ballet. Illustration credit: L. John Harris

La Vie en Rose: Île Saint-Louis, one of two small islands floating in the middle of the River Seine and hyped in travel literature

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Cafe French riffs on Gout and Goutte: Bad Taste or a Bad Case of Gout. Illustration credit: L. John Harris

La Vie en Rose: As a sensitive and hungry boy, I learned valuable life lessons from the classic series of children's books by Howard

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Main illustration: The basic functional modes of the Parisian café. Credit: L. John Harris

La Vie en Rose: Bitter brews, perfunctory pâtés, questionable quiches, insipid salads and tepid tarts? Has the Parisian cafe lost its culinary luster? Well,

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