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About the book
  • Published: 9 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9781446485668
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

Doing without Delia

Tales of Triumph and Disaster in a French Kitchen

An amateur English cook moves to Paris and enrols at France's - and the world's - most famous cookery school - with hilarious consequences.

'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times

'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times

Michael Booth has had his fill of celebrity chefs and their 'on the table in five minutes' recipes. He wants to learn how to cook properly, so he burns his cookery books and, together with his young family, heads for a new life in Paris - reasoning that, if anyone can be trusted to make food complicated, it's the French.

Embarking on the ultimate foodie's fantasy, he enrols at the world's most famous cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu, where wise and battle-scarred French chefs commence their transformation of him into a professional cook.

Along the way Booth shares the insider tips and secret techniques of classical cuisine. His odyssey takes him from trauma to triumph, ending in the white-hot heat of the Michelin-starred kitchen of the greatest chef in France.

  • Pub date: 9 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9781446485668
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

Michael Booth

Michael Booth is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Almost Nearly Perfect People, winner of the British Guild of Travel Writers award for Book of the Year, and Sushi and Beyond, which won the Guild of Food Writers award

Also by Michael Booth

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Praise for Doing without Delia

“The most enjoyable book about food I've read since Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential”

Mail on Sunday

“An entertaining romp through Parisian kitchen life”

Daily Telegraph

“Fast-paced, laugh-a-page...[with] more tips than a library of Gordon Ramsay books”


“Booth's prose is as easily digestible as you hope his food is: he's as sharp as a Michelin chef's collection of knives ... A flavoursome offering”

Time Out

“Gloriously funny...engaging, insightful, informative and even touching... style that's irresistible”

Independent on Sunday

“He's funny and perceptive, but best of all, Booth writes like a dream”

Lucy Knox, Tribune

“A light read, this is an entertaining soufflé of a book, perfect holiday fodder for Francophile foodies”


“Humorously chronicled...If you're a gourmand you'll love this book. Packed full of instructions on how to re-create French cuisine at home, it makes for brilliant reading and even better kitchen results. It's the perfect fix to the slap-it-all-in-the-pan-and-lick-your-fingers Nigella style of cooking”

France Magazine

“Well written, entertaining and funny”

Paul O’Doherty, Irish Times

“The writing is lively”

John Dugdale, Guardian

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