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I Know How to Cook (US Edition) Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009

27 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Oct 2009
£24.33 £16.98

Product details

  • Hardcover: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; US edition edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071485736X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714857367
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 8.3 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,272,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'… admirably comprehensive and clear … beautifully illustrated, too.'
Nick Curtis, Evening Standard

'Putting Ginette Mathiot on your shelf is akin to discovering a French grandmother you didn't know you had. ... this will teach you everything you need to learn about classic French cooking.'
Sally Hughes, Books for Cooks, London, The Bookseller

'Want the perfect coq au vin or crepe suzette? This is the book for you'
Daily Mail

'I Know How to Cook … includes everything you need to know … to take on almost any reasonable home-cooking challenge with Gallic flair.'
The Wall Street Journal

'A comprehensive collection.'
The New York Times Book Review

'Pure French cuisine.'
Associated Press

About the Author

Ginette Mathiot (1907–1998), Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, taught three generations how to cook in France and is the ultimate authority on French home cooking. She wrote more than 30 best-selling cookbooks, covering all subjects in French cuisine. Je sais cuisiner was her definitive, most comprehensive work, which brings together recipes for every classic French dish.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Topsy on 13 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
At last in English! I have a battered copy of the French version which I worked my way through while living in Paris a few years ago. The English version is much prettier, than the rigorous, image-free, French original. Some of the recipes are very French, including several for snails and frogs legs, but most of them are quite simple and they have been through almost 80 years of testing - the book was first published in 1932. This is not a here today, gone tomorrow TV tie-in, but something that will be on your shelf for years to come. From the English edition I have tried making madeleines, easy and instantly devoured by the children (so no time for Proustian reflection), and the raspberry sorbet, very easy and a talking point at a recent dinner party. Highly recommended.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By magdalene42 on 20 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this and the current edition of the French version 'Je sais cuisiner' on the same day not long ago. Due to couriers' vagaries I received the English version first and it is very impressive: huge, heavy, crammed with yummy French home cooking classics and with not too many illustrations to reduce the space for recipes. The book is organised into a reasonably familiar order: Basic Recipes; Hors d'oevre, Milk Eggs & Cheese, Soups, fish, meat, poultry, game, veg and so on. There are hints and tips on presentation, dinner parties and so forth; also a short section of recipes by celeb chefs including at least one Brit, which is nice!
So what did I do? I turned immediately to the one French dish which is my particular bugbear: so superficially simple, yet so hard to get right, ie. Ratatouille Provencale. I followed the recipe in this book to the letter - and had to remove the cover from the dish and boil it much harder than suggested, in order to remove the excessive, sloppy amount of liquid. OK, the result was still delicious, but I did end up wondering what I had done wrong.
Then I received the French version, and it was immediately obvious! While the recipe in the English version of the book tells you to add 500 ml of water to the pot along with the veg, seasoning and oil, the French original gives the quantity of water as '1 verre'. That is, one glass. Oh my those crazy French people must use big glasses, then! However, on investigating, the French edition also gives a precise measurement translation of this quantity, at the front of the book amongst the forewords and kitchen hints; '1 verre' = 10cl. Yes, that's right; 10 centilitres, aka 100 ml. ONE FIFTH of the volume the English edition suggests.
No wonder my ratatouille turned out kind of sloppy!
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Colin J. Herd on 11 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is to French cooking, what 'Silver Spoon' is to Italian, '1080 Recipes' is to Spanish and the recent 'Vefa's Kitchen' is to Greek. Which is to say, it's published by Phaidon, it's huge and it has many many recipes that are both authentic and usually very easy to make at home too. Not to mention, delicious.

The food is often such that you could not get at a restaurant, but would be served in many French homes if you went to stay for a few weeks. At least, that's the impression it gives... (and since i idealize the french I'm happy to go along with it.) The truth is, Ginette Mathiot was an exceptional cook with great flair and knowledge of French Home Cooking, and this is her masterpiece, first published in the 1930s I think.

Clotilde Dusoulier (of her blog/cookbook 'Chocolate and Zucchini' fame) has adapted the current edition, and it is absolutely, gobsmackingly, fantastically great. [any book that has a recipe called 'silly biscuits' is perfect by me].

Here's an example of what is so charming about this book: there's a recipe for crunchy Chestnut biscuits called 'Casse-museau'. Casse museau, we are told, translates as 'muzzle-breakers'. I love that kind of useless fun information. I like food with funny names.

The book is organized into the following chapters:

Sauces and Basic recipes, Hors-D'oeuvres, Milk eggs and cheese, soup, fish, meat, poultry, game, vegetables and salads, pulses rice and pasta, fruit, milk and egg puddings, ices,cakes and pastries, sweets preserves drinks.

If I'm not mistaken that pretty much covers everything you could desire. The sort of recipes you might expect are all here, like Beouf Bourguinon. But there are some surprises too... like... Melon Marmalade. I really want to try Melon Marmalade.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Graham Richards on 3 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since arriving here in France nearly four years ago, with my French wife, I have personally been looking for an English translation of this the bible of traditional French Home Cooking. Well this is it and one can immediately see and understand why it has been in constant print since it was first published in 1932 and is still a best seller here in France and sits proudly in most French homes.

The book is very well laid out in it's various recipe sections with further sections on cooking fundamentals, menus by celebrated chefs, some interesting general kitchen advice and an easy to understand and comprehensive index.

This book is now making the visits to the traditional French farm markets, butchers, traditional bakers and fishmongers all the more interesting as one sources the various ingredients which in France, at least thank goodness, is still done by season and local availability. Personally I like the recipe sections on Soup and Ices whilst there is plenty here to please and satisfy all other tastes of traditional French home cooking.
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