Reading Food : Those Foreign Books

Some booksellers will special order foreign books, but if you're a serious cookbook collector you might find it useful to establish a relationship with overseas cookbook dealers. It will save you money, but more important, you'll find that foreign booksellers are more knowledgeable about what is available in their country. When dealing with out-of-the-country booksellers, be sure to mention what languages you can read. Here is a list of recommended bookshops (the list does not include antiquarian specialists).

GERMANY: Buch Gourmet, Dieter K. Eckel, Hohenzollernring 16-18, 5000 Koln 1, Germany. Owner Dieter Eckel, who is the person many European chefs turn to when they need a hard-to-find book, speaks English. He is knowledgeable not only on books from major publishers in Germany and Europe but also worthy, less-known books. Even if you have only rudimentary knowledge of the language, many German books are useful for their excellent food photography. You may order specific titles or ask about books in a subject you're interested in. Eckel welcomes a challenge.

ENGLAND: Books for Cooks, Heidi Lascelles, 4 Blenheim Crescent, London W11, England. Located in the Portobello Market, this bookstore is actually a house with a demonstration kitchen, meeting room and an entire flat to accommodate visitors in the trade. The bookshop has a large stock of cookbooks on every subject and many ethnic cuisines, mostly in English. There is now also a branch of this shop in Cambridge.

NETHERLANDS: De Kookboekhandel, Johannes Van Dam, Runstraat 26/HS, 1016 Amsterdam, Netherlands. This shop is international in its scope. Anyone interested in the exotic cuisines of the former Dutch colonies, such as Indonesia, Surinam and Curacao, as well as books on cross-cultural Dutch-Indonesian cooking, will find a better selection here than anywhere else. Some of the store's books are available in English.

FRANCE: Le Verre et l'Assiette, Micheline Dohollou, 1, rue du Val de Grace, 75005 Paris, France. Any cookbook published in France may be ordered from this shop, which also publishes a monthly newsletter in French with new titles and happenings in the world of French cuisine. For the most part, no English-language books are sold.

CANADA: Le Verre et l'Assiette, Lucie Dorion, 391, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 1B5, Canada. No connection to the shop in Paris of the same name, this is the newest of Canada's cookbook shops. Owner Lucie Dorion has had many years of experience in the wine business. Her stock will consist of 50% English-language books, 40% in French, and 10% written in other languages.

Also: The Cookbook Store, 850 Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario M4W 2H1, Canada. This shop carries Canadian and other cookbooks, mostly in English.

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