Category Archives: Press Articles

Featured on the Boston Phoenix!

Plates from an Expat
 By Cassandra Landry

I’ll bet any one of you ten bucks that when you were 19, you were nowhere near as productive as Eléonor Picciotto.

Picciotto, an expat hailing from France and a recent Boston University grad, is the author of a new cookbook right up my penniless alley: French Cuisine for the Young & Broke.  When I graduated high school and packed my life into suitcases bound for college, my relatives gave me awkward dorm cookbooks, straight out of the 80s. They were full of ramen, rice and clever ways to use hot plates, which of course, are now banned. I wish she’d written this thing sooner.

The recipes, ranging from crêpes to croque monsieurs, read easy and don’t send me loading up on overpriced ingredients at Shaws–which is exactly the point, Picciotto tells me over the phone from New York in a clipped, elegant French accent.

“I’ve always loved cooking and eating good things,” she says. “When I arrived in the U.S. I was shocked at how badly people eat. But, the reason is because of a lack of knowledge, not a lack of money, which is what everyone thinks. If you know how to make a grocery list, which is the hardest part, you’ll be fine.”

After a skiing accident took Picciotto, a former member of the BU Ski Team, off the slopes and landed her in a cast for eight weeks, her friends suggested puttingtogether a cookbook to keep her occupied. She began to host dinners with friends, affectionately named “Supper Clubs,” during which she would create easy desserts or sauces, much to the amazement of her guests.

“People couldn’t believe the stuff I was making, and it was all very simple,” she says.

About a year and a half later, after impersonating a teacher to gain entrance into the BookExpo America in New York, finding a publisher, and revising her recipes seven times, French Cuisine has become a reality.

Though it’s easy to imagine that all French college students whip up pristine petit-fours for breakfast, Picciotto says the biggest difference between us and our cousins across the pond is a sneaky reliance on take-out.

“The big difference is that here, you are used to ordering in,” she says. “We don’t do that in France, because there aren’t really places to order from. No matter how late you are, how long a day you’ve had, you always cook. Even if it’s just pasta, because then you know what’s in it!”

Eléonor Picciotto will appear at The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough Street, Boston, samples in tow, on Thursday, January 12, 6:30pm-8:30pm. $5. To RSVP, call 617.912.0400.


Featured in the Boston Globe!


The recipe for a French cookbook

By Jane Dornbusch

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When Eleonor Picciotto was laid up after a skiing accident, she did what any other Paris-born-and-bred young woman would do: She wrote a cookbook. “I was going crazy,’’ says Picciotto, who graduated from Boston University last January. “My friends said, ‘You love to write, you love to cook, you’re stuck at home. Write a cookbook.’ ’’ The result is “French Cuisine for the Young and Broke,’’ a self-published volume ($35), full of the author’s own photos, kitchen wisdom, and simple French recipes. Picciotto  says she was surprised, when she came to the United States to attend school four years ago, at her classmates’ lack of cooking knowledge and their dependence on take-out. “I tried to tell them that French cooking can be very easy.’’ With dishes such as crepes, croque monsieur, and chocolate cake, Picciotto hopes the book proves the point and provides students and others on a budget with an alternative to fast food. Eleonor Picciotto will be at the French Cultural Center, 52 Marlborough St., tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., serving dishes from the book. Admission is $5. Call 617-912-0400 for reservations (required). To order the book, e-mail A $6.99 digital edition will available in a couple of weeks.


Featured on!

10912 Get Out

by Stuff Boston  |  January 09, 2012

Many 20-somethings survive on Easy Mac and microwavable taquitos. Not Eléonor Picciotto. This Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the freshly minted BU grad will school the rest of us on how to eat like the Sun King on a peasant’s budget with French Cuisine for the Young & Broke, a talk and tasting at the French Cultural Center (53 Marlborough Street, Boston, 617.912.0400). Now based in New York, the Paris-born Picciotto has been a regular behind the double burners since childhood, when her kitchen-phobic mother would routinely task her with preparing a delicious dinner for the family. Clearly, the blood, sweat and minced shallots paid off: Picciotto’s recently released cookbook of quick, cost-effective French fare (from which the event borrows its name) got props from Entertainment Weekly this December for boasting the “best name for a cookbook.” Not only can we expect an intimate glimpse into the genesis of Picciotto’s book (conceived after a college skiing accident placed her in a cast for six weeks), but also samples of its tasty recipes. Admission is $5 — a manageable cover for the tome’s target demographic, oui? Call the number above to reserve your spot.



Featured on!


French Cuisine for the Young & Broke: A Modern Day Julia Child’s Culinary Challenge for College Students

By Lauren Landry on December, 21st 2011

With her landmark cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child  introduced French cuisine to the American public. With her blog, Julie Powell introduced Julia Child to a new generation of Americans (it even got her a movie deal). With her cookbook, BU alumna Eléonor Picciotto may just become a modern version of them both. French Cuisine for the Young & Broke, not only makes French cuisine more accessible, but introduces it to a new demographic: America’s college students.

Growing up in France, Picciotto’s mother hated being in the kitchen, and often delegated cooking responsibilities to her daughter. Her appetite for French cuisine and culinary skills came from there, and she brought them with her to Boston University, where she first decided to study journalism four years ago.

While at school, armed with only a hotpot, Picciotto began making meals for the friends she’d formed a supper club with. Every week, they’d take turns hosting dinner, and, every week, she continued to surprise them. After seeing her friends’ rave reaction at the homemade applesauce she’d thrown together in mere minutes, made simply with cooked apples and a dash of cinnamon, she realized that they didn’t have a sense of how to combine and prepare basic ingredients.

“I had to prove my recipe to them,” Picciotto said, who recreated the applesauce right then and there. “The problem here is the lack of knowledge.”

During Picciotto’s sophomore year, when she was a member of the BU Ski Team, she tore a ligament and broke her femur. Doctors prohibited her from skiing for 18 months and ordered that she rest for six weeks in a cast. She knew she’d go stir crazy sitting on the couch, but that’s when her friends said, “You love to write, you love to cook and you love to eat. Instead of sitting here driving yourself crazy, why not write a cook book?”

She started with the recipes she knew by heart, and went from there, asking friends to help her with the photography and design. Nearly two years later, the book was complete, and her quest for publishers began. At age 19, Picciotto kept hearing, “Because she doesn’t have a name, we can’t publish her.” To them, she was just one student among hundreds of others, but that didn’t stop her.

“This is French cuisine written by French students for students,” Picciotto said. “No one had that concept yet.”

She decided to self-publish her book earlier this month with Lulu, and it’s already gained attention. In its December 9th issue, Entertainment Weekly singled the title out as the “best name for a cookbook,” and over 200 people attended the cookbook’s launch party in Manhattan, even though only 85 were expected to attend.

Picciotto graduated from Boston University in January, and is now blogging from home while working as a marketing intern for a prominent Manhattan-based jeweler. In February, she’ll be moving to Geneva for a full-time job with a Swiss watch company, but won’t forget about the “Young & Broke” in Boston. She already has plans to speak at the French Cultural Center of Boston on January 12th, and a digital version of her cookbook is expected to be released soon, that she’ll work on marketing here and abroad.

“I can’t pretend I’m going to change the entire eating habits of the students of America,” Picciotto said. “But, this book is a start.”

To get to know Picciotto a bit better, here a few other questions we asked her –

What are the four ingredients everyone should have in their pantry? Lemon, mustard, olive oil and some herbs, because they only cost a dollar and add flavor. In terms of baking, though, I’d say eggs, butter, sugar and flour.

What’s the first dish you ever made? Quatre Quarts! It’s the French version of the U.S. pound cake, but lighter.

What are your go-to dishes? If I have nothing at home, something with chicken, rice and sour cream, because I usually at least have that. If you tell me a couple hours ahead of time, salmon tartare (above). Or, if you give me a day’s notice, then veal milanese, my favorite dish.


Here is the link:

Featured on BU Today!


Featured on BU Today !

By Amy Laskowski

Eléonor Picciotto says when she started writing her cookbook, she “had no idea what I was getting myself into, but the more I wrote, the more ideas I got, and it became a real, concrete project.” Photo courtesy of Eléonor Picciotto

Eléonor Picciotto’s love affair with French cuisine and all things culinary began as a child. Growing up in Paris, she had a mother who didn’t like to be in the kitchen and would put her in charge of dinner. The experience came in handy when Picciotto (COM’11) arrived at BU. Undeterred by the lack of a kitchen in the dorms, she managed to whip up angel hair pasta, couscous, and tabbouleh armed with only a hotpot. Now living in New York, she has a kitchen of her own and has graduated to more advanced dishes like cured bresaola and Nutella roulé.

Picciotto’s culinary inventiveness and her love of fresh, healthy, French-influenced food inspired her to write French Cuisine for the Young and Brokea cookbook of fast, easy, and healthy recipes, which she self-published earlier this month. It’s already gaining attention: Entertainment Weekly singled the title out in its December 9 issue as the “best name for a cookbook,” and over 200 people
attended the cookbook’s launch party in Manhattan.

French Cuisine takes readers through the entire dining experience—from appetizers to desserts—and provides easy-to-follow instructions for 150 recipes using minimal, inexpensive ingredients and equipment. In addition to tried-and-true recipes such as marinated chicken, Picciotto writes step-by-step directions for French crepes and a shockingly simple 10-minute soup.

Picciotto says her experience at BU helped motivate her to write the book. “My friends and I formed a supper club at BU where we would take turns hosting dinner every week,” she recalls. “One night I was running really late and I was in charge of dessert, so I rifled through my fridge to see what I could find, and all I had were apples.” Mashing cooked apples with a little bit of cinnamon, she rushed off to the party. Her friends raved, to her  surprise.

“I found myself observing how my friends ate, and they didn’t seem to have a sense of how to combine and prepare ingredients,” Picciotto says. “When someone orders a pizza, it’s $12, but for the same price you can have an amazing meal, and you don’t need unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. It doesn’t take hours to create a dinner.”

Picciotto began writing the cookbook after she tore a ligament and broke her femur as a member of the BU ski team during her sophomore year. Doctors prohibited skiing for the next 18 months and ordered her to rest for six weeks in a thigh-to-ankle cast. She soon went stir-crazy.

“I’m an energetic person, and if I didn’t start a project soon I was going to kill someone,” she says, laughing. “My friends reminded me that I love to eat and I love to write, so they suggested that I write a cookbook. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but the more I wrote, the more ideas I got, and it became a real, concrete project.”

The book took a year and a half to complete. Writing the recipes was tedious, Picciotto says, because she had to remind herself to make every step as clear as she could. Her friend Ben Timmins (CAS’11, COM’11) took photos for the book and another friend helped design it.

Many of Picciotto’s recipes are inspired by her day-to-day diet, family and friends, and the great restaurant meals she has had. A lot of times, she looks through her fridge to see what ingredients she has, and improvises with those. “Within a week I try to get down the right measurements, ingredients, and taste,” she says. “It usually takes about three times to get the perfect recipe.”

She blogs about cooking from home, and is currently working as a marketing intern for a well known Manhattan-based jeweler, but will be moving to Geneva soon for a full-time job with a Swiss watch company. But for now, she cooks dinner almost every night and is on call for friends who need dinner ideas.

“Whenever I’m tired, I remind myself that I shouldn’t have to spend money on something that is less good than what I could make,” she says. “I want to know exactly what I’m putting in my mouth.”


French Cuisine by Ele


Chers New Readers,

If you are a foodie,

If you are French, but specially if you are not

If you are a traveler,

If you are a writer and a reader,

If you like new things

and if you like to cook,

This new blog/website should be a bookmark in your toolbar.

At first, I will share insights about my first cookbook that will be launched on December 6th of this year:

French Cuisine for the Young and Broke.  

At the meantime and in the near future, I will give you tips in the kitchen, insights about restaurants, 48 hours city guides, press articles about health, surveys, food tricks and tips and will share pictures as often as I possibly can.

For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at