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Mastering the Art of French Cooking Hardcover – Oct 12 1983


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Hardcover, Oct 12 1983
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Frequently Bought Together

Mastering the Art of French Cooking + Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 + Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
Price For All Three: CDN$ 108.13

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (Oct. 12 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394533992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394533995
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 18.4 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,445,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The most instructive book on fine French cooking written in the English language -- Elizabeth David This book fundamentally altered the way a basic human activity was preceived and pursued -- A. O. Scott The New York Times Has been described as being the best book about French cooking in English ... I agree -- Ambrose Heath Guardian As close to a divine text as you can get -- Matthew Fort Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

"Has it really been 40 years since Julia Child rescued Americans from dreary casseroles? This reissue, clad in a handsome red jacket, is what a cookbook should be: packed with sumptuous recipes, detailed instructions, and precise line drawings. Some of the instructions look daunting, but as Child herself says in the introduction, 'If you can read, you can cook.'"
- Entertainment Weekly --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold on April 6 2004
Format: Hardcover
Rarely are we able to say with certainty that a book is at the top of its subject in regard and quality. This book, 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck is certainly in that most unique position among cookbooks written in English and published in the United States.
With Julia Child's celebrity arising from her long series of TV cooking shows on PBS, it may be easy to forget how Ms. Child rose to a position with the authority that gave her the cachet to do these shows in the first place. This book is the foundation of that cachet and the basis of Ms. Child's influence with an entire generation of amateur and professional chefs.
It may also be easy to forget that this book has three authors and not just one. The three began as instructors in a school of French cooking, 'Les Ecole des Trois Gourmandes' operating in Paris in the 1950's. And, it was from their experience with this school that led them to write this book. To be fair, Julia Child originated a majority of the culinary content and contributed almost all of the grunt work with her editors and publisher to get the book published.
The influence of this book cannot be underestimated. It has been written that the style of recipe writing even influenced James Beard, the leading American culinary authority at the time, to change his style of writing in a major cookbook on which he was working when '...French Cooking' was published. Many major American celebrity experts in culinary matters have cited Child and this book as a major influence. Not the least of these is Martha Stewart and Ina Garten. It is interesting that these first to come to mind are not professional chefs, but caterers and teachers of the household cook.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Leslie D. Ehrlich on Jan. 1 2004
Format: Hardcover
There are two reasons to buy this book, along with its companion, Mastering the Art... Volume 2.
First, and most important, "Mastering" is an essential reference book on the French style of cooking. Whatever you're trying to make -- from simple things like chicken stock or scalloped potatoes or coq au vin to something that would try the patience of Job -- it's probably here, and with detailed, step-by-step instructions. Whether you follow the recipies literally or devise your own shortcuts, you'll know what's "right" and be able to make your own choices about what to do.
Secondly, it's a breakthrough book and a classic, capturing the state of French cooking and Americans' knowledge (or lack) at a particular point in time. In addition to the step-by-step instructions, the recipies are full of offhand comments about who taught Julia what and on the nature and source of the ingredients.
There are two aspects of these books which make them not for everyone. First, Julia brooks no shortcuts. Even relatively simple dishes can take some time. Second, the instructions are extremely detailed. This can be a virtue, but it can also be frustrating. A recipie can run several pages. This makes it a bit challenging to see the big picture of how the recipie is structured, or to find your place again once you've cleaned your knives and your hands (for the fourth time.)
That having been said, if you like to cook French and you have any interest in the classic recipies prepared the classic way, this book is indispensible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have been a subscriber to high-end food magazines for decades, and have an extensive collection of cookbooks. This is the best cook book in print, without exception. I remember when Julia came on the scene when I was a child. It was, no exaggeration.....innovative. She used words we couldn't pronounce, showed us how to make dishes we were unfamiliar with, and showed us techniques that were unheard of to the American public. Almost 40 years later, the American palette has become more sophisticated and the food options available to us seem endless. This book stills holds up as the best. It is the primer for understanding French cooking, and mastering invaluable techniques in the kitchen.
I love good food and enjoy cooking. The problem is, after twenty something years cooking I still have to admit that I have no natural talent or culinary instinct. EVERYTIME I use this book I am successful. Don't let the title of this book intimidate you. This book was written in large part with the novice in mind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 9 2002
Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is fantastic, a wealth of basic techniques and tastes. The depth is such that you can spend years with the book and still learn more. If you are an aspiring cook, or know someone that is, this is a perfect addition to the kitchen.
You can take what you learn from this book and easily improvise on the basic themes. Your friends and family will be impressed :^)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Aug. 17 2001
Format: Paperback
Every serious home cook should have a good collection of Julia Child's recipes in the kitchen. Although many of the recipes are elaborate and time consuming, they are all clearly explained and easy to follow. I have never had a Julia Child recipe fail. I refer to this book constantly for basics such as pie crust. It is also my first line of defense for company meals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HeyJudy on Dec 3 2001
Format: Hardcover
After forty years, MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING still remains the best cookbook ever written.
One can toss every other book on technique and on French cuisine, one can ignore the curriculum of every cooking school, and instead rely solely on this massive work. MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING was the book which CREATED America's fascination with gastronomy, long before many of today's readers even were born.
Any aspiring cook who works his or her way from the beginning to the end will be an accomplished chef by the time the project is completed, so thorough are Julia Child's instructions.
Julia Child is a genius. This new edition of MASTERING remains the gem it always has been, and this book proves why Julia Child has earned a unique place at the top of every list of food writers.
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