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Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vol 1 [Hardcover]

Julia Child
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Oct 2001
This is the classic cookbook, in its entirety—all 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 more than forty 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. This beautiful book, with more than 100 instructive illustrations, is revolutionary in its approach because:

• it leads the cook infallibly from the buying and handling of raw ingredients, through each essential step of a recipe, to the final creation of a delicate confection;

• it breaks down the classic cuisine into a logical sequence of themes and variations rather than presenting an endless and diffuse catalogue of recipes; the focus is on key recipes that form the backbone of French cookery and lend themselves to an infinite number of elaborations—bound to increase anyone’s culinary repertoire;

• it adapts classical techniques, wherever possible, to modern American conveniences;

• it shows Americans how to buy products, from any supermarket in the United States, that reproduce the exact taste and texture of the French ingredients, for example, equivalent meat cuts, the right beans for a cassoulet, or the appropriate fish and seafood for a bouillabaisse;

• it offers suggestions for just the right accompaniment to each dish, including proper wines.

Since there has never been a book as instructive and as workable as Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the techniques learned here can be applied to recipes in all other French cookbooks, making them infinitely more usable. In compiling the secrets of famous cordons bleus, the authors have produced a magnificent volume that is sure to find the place of honor in every kitchen in America.

Bon appétit!


Product details

  • Hardcover: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA Inc; 40th Anniversary Ed edition (28 Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375413405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375413407
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 26 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 609,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

About the Author

Julia Child revolutionised cooking in the US and this was the cookbook that launched her career. A native of California and a Smith College graduate, Julia Child studied at Paris's famous Cordon Bleu, and worked under various distinguished French chefs. In 1951 she started her own cooking school in Paris, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle and the three women started compiling this cookbook. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published in 1961 and was an instant hit. Julia Child consequently began appearing on the television series The French Chef, which aired for many years all over the United States, and many more books and TV series ensued. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hardback version much better than paperback 11 Dec 2009
By yayo
Format:Paperback
This paperback version is not as clear and as well laid out as the hardback. I've compared both and the paperback version is flimsy, the writing is very small and the layout of the ingredients is not as clear. Whereas the ingredients in the hardback are grouped together on the left of the technique (and written in the order that they will be used), in the paperback version they will put some ingredients (written in bold), then the technique, then other ingredients etc (so the ingredients are actually written as you use them)... some may prefer this but personally i prefer to see the ingredients grouped together, which makes the preparation process far easier.
It seems like such a wonderful cookbook but such a book, it would be better to invest in the hardback which is more likely to stand the test of time, easier to read as you cook (bigger font, more spread out on the page) and clearer ingredient layout.
A couple of people complained of missing pages, my book was fine, so the publishers must have corrected that.
Happy cooking...
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130 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible of French cooking for Americans. 10 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I have been using this book, and it's companion Volume 2, for over 20 years. It is by far the best cookbook for French cuisine on the market. The clear, step-by-step directions, with extensive illustrations, carefully guide you through each recipe. It teaches all of the basic techniques required to become proficient in the greatest cuisine in the world.
Try Julia's chocolate mousse and you'll never use another recipe,(but you will have to walk it off). I'm ordering a replacement copy from Amazon because my original is has been so used the binding has fallen apart! I wouldn't be without it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By D&D TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I first purchased this as a student back in the 60's and have never really looked back.

An endless source of inspiration and technique but not written in quite the chatty style that modern cookbooks have adopted, the first volume is in my opinion better than the second - but that is probably just my personal preferences, as Vol 2 is more ambitious.

Unlike many cookbooks, all of these recipes work and have obviously been tested by the authors - don't you hate it when a recipe omits a vital step or ingredient or just doesn't work?

Without doubt the finest cookbook ever written but beware as this version has US measurements, not metric ones.
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125 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Classic 19 Oct 2007
By Bentley
Format:Hardcover
On the cover of this hardcover classic is the following statement: "The only cookbook that explains how to create authentic French dishes in American kitchens with American foods". I think this was key to the success of this cookbook; you could use what you could find and not have to scour the earth for the right ingredients.

I was looking at the copyright on the book. My mother gave me hers about two decades ago; but the original date on her edition was October 16, 1961 (amazing) and this book is every bit as useful for me today as it was for my mother.

The chapters are laid out as follows:

Kitchen Equipment
Definitions
Ingredients
Measures
Temperatures
Cutting
Wines (offering the right accompaniment to each dish)
Chapter I - Soups (onion, potato, cream of sorrel, cabbage, fish)
Chapter II - Sauces (white, brown, tomato, hollandaise, vinagrettes, etc.)
Chapter III - Eggs (poached, shirred, scrambed, omelettes)
Chapter IV - Fish (even recipes from Provence)
Chapter V - Poultry (roasted, casserole, sauteed, duck and goose, etc.)
Chapter VII - Meat (beef, lamb, veal, ports , kidneys)
Chapter VIII - Vegetables (greens, carrot, cabbages, etc)
Chapter IX - Cold Buffet (aspics, mousses, pates, etc.)
Chapter X - Desserts and Cakes (souffles, tarts, savarins, and much more)

The recipe for the bouillabaisse alone (page 52 and 53) is well worth investing in this cookbook. Julia Child knew what she was doing and the adaptation of these classic techniques to the American kitchen is stunning. I noticed that there was a paperback available as well; the hardcopy is the one that I would get so that it could stand the test of time like mine has. Bon appetit.

Bentley/2007
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that teaches you to cook! 26 Sep 2010
By Mel
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers, I bought this book after watching "Julie and Julia". I listened to other reviewers and paid more to buy the hardback version. I cannot comment on the paperback version or compare the two, but I am very pleased with the content, explanations, descriptions and diagrams in the hardcover book.

When the book arrived I picked it up to flick through it (as you do when a new book arrives), but I became engrossed reading the book and ended up sepnding 5 hours reading it! And in that time (and since that time too) I have learnt so much about food and cooking. This book is an excellent book and can teach you a lot about cooking - especially the basics of cooking.

The only slightly negative feature of this book is that a lot of the recipes and techniques require you to flick between pages and recipes, which can become slightly confusing while you are trying to follow a recipe. To overcome this you should read the recipe(s) and techniques throughly in advance of cooking the dish. That said though, I have still become confused and ended up cooking it 'my way' despite reading the recipe(s) before cooking them.

I really like this book and I am pleased that I have bought it - it has become my little kitchen bible!
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