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141 Reviews
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131 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible of French cooking for Americans.
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...
Published on 10 July 1998

versus
121 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hardback version much better than 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...
Published on 11 Dec 2009 by yayo


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121 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hardback version much better than paperback, 11 Dec 2009
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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131 of 136 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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read nothing else read this if you want to learn how to cook, 8 April 2012
By 
D&D - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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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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
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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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126 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Classic, 19 Oct 2007
By 
Bentley (USA and England) - See all my reviews
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastering the art of French cooking vol. 1, 14 Jan 2010
By 
Julian Grant (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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It does,as they say, exactly what it says on the cover. People who buy this are highly likely to have seen the film "Julie & Julia" & will know what to expect,(if you haven`t,see the film or read several reviews of it)
Pleasant suprises - measurements are all given in pounds & ounces(I prefer metric myself)I had feared it would all be in those awful American cups!
Almost inspired to work my way through it,but someone`s already done that.Looking forward to the delivery of vol2.
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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great books - shame about the measurements, 19 Mar 2011
By 
Setter man (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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Just received these hardback versions of the two volumes of Mastering the Art... Only just published (March 2011) in a nice slip case so I bought them as a present for myself and my partner so we could try out what, by are all accounts, are excellent recipes explained in well-written style. I certainly endorse the point about the writing - it is a model of how clear recipe writing can be, but often isn't. Not tried any of the recipes yet because the books only just arrived BUT the reason I'm writing this review so soon after delivery is that I wanted to warn other possible purchasers of a 'devil in the detail'. Whether the version Amazon UK is selling is really meant for the US market I don't know (?), but I was disappointed to discover when I opened my parcel that the sticker on the front of the pack proudly announces ' NOW CONVERTED TO IMPERIAL MEASURMENTS' Great! So all we UK and European cooks now have to convert temperatures and weights back into metric. It's a relatively small issue and not one to return the books for, but it is irritating when these books are intended for a UK and possibly European market. This may not matter to you as a factor when compared with the undoubted merits of the books otherwise, but it seemed worthwhile to mention it. It also means 4 stars not 5
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol 1, 21 Feb 2009
By 
Mrs. J. A. Lash "janange" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My husband gave me the paperback version of this before we were married thirty-three years ago (enscribed 'Not a hint but a thank you'!!) and I used that until it fell apart, then replaced it with a hardback which is now falling apart itself. It is absolutely the most helpful cookery book one could hope to find. I still use it regularly and rely on it for clear and complete instructions on all necessary techniques. Vol 2 is a splendid companion.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cookbooks, 15 April 2010
By 
Rachel Denham (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I describe these books as 'Delia with diamonds'. The explanation and instruction is first class and the choice of recipes an excellent grounding in French cooking.

If you enjoy food and cooking you will like these books, I've made several of the recipes already and each turned out exactly as expected with delicious flavour. Over the years, like most people I imagine, I've bought many cookbooks but generally you end up with a few which you return to over and over again because you know they're reliable. Delia's complete cookery course has been on my shelf for over 10 years and is almost falling apart now from use, these volumes by Julia Child have joined that few.

I'd also say, don't be put off by the 'special occasion' feel that many of the recipes may appear to have - these books are about providing the knowledge and basic skills required to produce excellent results and once you have that you can use them to create quick and simple everyday meals, but still with excellent flavour.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restored at last, 16 Jan 2010
By 
Archie (South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford, UK) - See all my reviews
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We used to use the original edition so much that it eventually fell to pieces, not helped by being borrowed and in someone elses kitchen 50% of the time!! When the film came out I thought they will have to produce a reprint, and so they have. This is quite simply the nearest thing to a failsafe method of reproducing the wonderful glow of pleasure you get when eating out in a little French restaurant that you think you have discovered, and this reveals all the secrets that enable you to produce a navarin of lamb that is unqualifiably delicious.
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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol.1
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol.1 by Louisette Bertholle (Paperback - 24 Nov 2011)
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