Mastering the art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle
I cannot believe that I haven’t featured this book yet as my book tip of the month, but better late than never I suppose! ‘Mastering the art of French cooking’ is actually one of the reasons I started my blog years ago, as it was the grounds for the movie ‘Julie & Julia’, in which Julie Powell vows to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
If you’ve never seen the movie you probably also have no idea who Julia Child is, or why her book is so special to a lot of people. Now first it’s important to say that Julia wasn’t the only author of this book as it was written up by 3 women: Julia, Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle. What made the book so special is that it was the first French cookbook released in the US that used ingredients available in the US and that adapted some of the traditional French recipes to suit the American palate and cooking techniques. The book then became such a huge hit that they released a second volume, his time without Louisette Bertholle. At the same time Julia Child got her own tv show called ‘The French Chef”, which was one of the first cooking shows on American TV.
Even though the books were released in 1961/1970 they are still hugely popular today, helped of course by the release of the movie Julie & Julia. The book is of course more targeted at American readers and the measurements are also American rather than metric but I hope that won’t stop you from trying it out as it does have some really great recipes!
The perfect gift for any follower of Julia Child—and any lover of French food. This boxed set brings together Mastering the Art of French Cooking, first published in 1961, and its sequel, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two, published in 1970.
Volume One is the classic cookbook, in its entirety—524 recipes.
“Anyone can cook in the French manner anywhere,” wrote Mesdames Beck, Bertholle, and Child, “with the right instruction.” And here is the book that, for nearly fifty years, has been teaching Americans how.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savory delights of the classic cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. The techniques learned in this beautiful book, with more than one hundred instructive illustrations, can be applied to recipes in all other French cookbooks, making them infinitely usable. In compiling the secrets of famous Cordon Bleu chefs, the authors produced a magnificent volume that continues to have a place of honor in American kitchens.
Volume Two is the sequel to the great cooking classic—with 257 additional recipes.
Following the publication of the celebrated Volume One, Julia Child and Simone Beck continued to search out and sample new recipes among the classic dishes and regional specialties of France—cooking, conferring, tasting, revising, perfecting. Out of their discoveries they made, for Volume Two, a brilliant selection of precisely those recipes that not only add to the repertory but, above all, bring the reader to a new level of mastery of the art of French cooking.
Each of these recipes is worked out step-by-step, with the clarity and precision that are the essence of the first volume. Five times as many drawings as in Volume One make the clear instructions even more so.
Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of this volume is that it will make Americans actually more expert than their French contemporaries in two supreme areas of cookery: baking and charcuterie. In France one can turn to the local bakery for fresh and expertly baked bread, or to neighborhood charcuterie for pâtés and terrines and sausages. Here, most of us have no choice but to create them for ourselves.
About the author
Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. She was graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during World War II in Ceylon and China, where she met Paul Child. After they married they lived in Paris, where she studied at the Cordon Bleu and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). In 1963, Boston’s WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made her a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004.
Hardcover: 2 pages
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group; Slp edition (1 Dec. 2009)
Product Dimensions: 19 x 9.1 x 26.9 cm