A very interesting article: Delia to teach France how to cook From: Expatica.com A cultural revolution is brewing in France with the imminent publication of a book in which - horror of horrors - an Englishwoman presumes to administer lessons in cookery to the French. Hugh Schofield reports. Delia Smith - a television superstar in Britain who has sold 14 million books across the English-speaking world - has finally had a selection of her recipes translated into French, and they go on sale in May with the title La cuisine facile d'aujourd'hui, or Simple cooking today. In the land that believes it invented gastronomy, publishers Hachette concede there might be a certain resistance to the idea of taking classes from purveyors of mushy peas and over-cooked beef. Smith's nationality is being downplayed, and she is referred to only as "Delia." But they insist there is a crying demand for the kind of straightforward approach to the kitchen that has made Smith famous, because so many of the domestic traditions that used to be handed down from mother to daughter have disappeared. Unlike in Britain or the US, France has no popularising television chefs - they tend to be toqued and very dignified - and cookery books fall into two categories: either the overly basic or the overly compendious. The Larousse Gastronomique runs to 2,752 pages. Many young Frenchwomen admit the need for something in between. "I have to admit it. I learned to cook from Delia," said Sabine Samuel, 31, a Paris-based mother who is married to an Englishman and spent many years in London. "Because the truth is I didn't know anything. French women are just supposed to have it - and I didn't. No one ever taught me, and Delia was perfect. Simple and non-fussy," she said. Even in gastronomic circles, many agree that France has concentrated too long on ensuring that its top-of-the range remains top-of-the-range, ignoring the broad, family-based culture from which the culinary élite initially sprung. "I can only see the translation of Mrs Smith as a positive development," said Alain Dutournier of the two Michelin-starred Le Carré des Feuillants in central Paris. "If the French are no longer the guardians of their own temple - and they are not - then they need to be taught the rituals again by outsiders." But by the British of all people? Wasn't that somewhat galling? "Not at all," said Dutournier. "The English have a tremendous tradition. There is nothing I like better than Yorkshire pudding, or fried fish with a puree of green peas. "What is disgusting is seeing the way some people eat on the street. The smell of old grease and all that kind of thing," he said. "But I am afraid today it is exactly the same in France." Others, however, were less enthralled by Smith's "presumption". "I have been in this business for 30 years. I have three Michelin stars. And I think maybe in 10 years I will be ready to write a cookery book," said Alain Passard, chef-patron of L'Arpège in Paris, who had never heard of Smith. "What we know about in France is how to choose good products. That's more important than a new cook book, so I suggest this woman of yours take a step or two back," he said.