on 11 December 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.
on 22 August 2010
Volume 1 is a must-have for every cook, volume 2 is also a must-have but it contains more complex, sophisticated recipes, some of which will become favourites and some of which will just always require a little bit too much time, too much effort, too many things.
Volume 2 builds on volume 1 and I find the Puff Pastry recipes already on their own worth the book. The instructions and drawings are, like for volume 1, top of the bill.
Volume 2 contains the following sections: 1) Soups of the Garden - Bisques and Soups from the Sea 2)Baking: Breads, Brioches, Croissants and Pastries 3)Meats: From Country kitchen to Haute Cuisine 4)Chickens, Poached and Sauced - and a Coq en Pate 5)Charcuterie: Sausages, Salted Pork and Goose, Pates and Terrines 6)A Choice of Vegetables 7)Desserts: Extending the Repertoire. Bon Appetit!
on 9 December 2011
Is there anything left to be said about these two fabulous volumes of recipes and instruction in French cookery? Well, yes, this edition helpfully has imperial measures in it (so no need now to go translating cups into fluid ounces or mls).
Try Supremes de Volailles au Blanc. As many reviewers have said of many recipes, you will not believe you cooked something so sublime. But remember, Julia's chicken breast needs to be moist, not over-cooked. She says to cook it in butter in the oven for 10 minutes. I think chicken breasts were smaller in the 1950s, so you'll need to double that time but not a minute more. When you test it, it will be exactly as Julia describes it should be even though you think it will be underdone.
These books are a true education and so brilliantly clear that even the least able cook can produce a meal that will impress and easily win any episode of 'Come Dine with Me'!
on 10 July 1998
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.
on 3 March 2003
I have owned this book for many years (since 1977) and it still remains as one of the finest books on the method of French cooking. It is thorough and easy to understand as long as you read the recipe very carefully and fully before you begin. The recipes themselves are presented so that the reader is introduced to the basic way of preparing and cooking something with variations following on from the master recipe in question. Volume 1 takes the reader through Soups (onion, garlic, vichyssoise being fine and tasty examples), through a fabulous chapter on sauces (white, brown, hollandaise, stocks etc) and moves on to some of the classic dishes for which the French are known (Coq au Vin, Pot-au-Fue). The only criticism I could think of was a slightly dissappointing chapter on fish - they only really mention sole (unsurprisingly perhaps). The puddings are particularly straightforward to follow and quite delicious (cheery clafoutie being particularly so). Some of the recipes do call for a particularly long time in the kitchen - especially for the traditional French loaf for example - but if you have time on your hands or a long weekend ahead, it is well worth the effort immersing yourself in the delights of making (perhaps) a wonderful choucroute a l'Alsacienne and enjoying the beautiful meaty aroma of a dish that takes at least 5 hours to cook.
on 20 July 2011
I bought the paperback edition of this book a few months ago, after having watched the film (of course!). And I must say I didn't expect it to be this good: I didn't really believe I could cook anything French. I still don't know if I can (as I haven't been to France), but what I do cook from Child's recipes tastes really good. I love the way the ingredients are listed (in the order they are to be used), I love the information on preparing certain parts of the dish in advance, the giving of reasons why one should or shouldn't do this and that, the exhaustive explanations on each step of the recipe, and I love the witty comments on various things, which make the book an enjoyable reading instead of a mere cookbook. Therefore, Nigella Lawson's books (which for me are the total opposite of this book - no explanations and no satisfactory results) are gathering dust on my shelves, and this one has been in constant use lately. I'm neither English nor American, so I'm not used to Fahrenheit degrees, pints, pounds, ounces and so on, but there are tables for conversion in the book itself, and the internet will provide whatever was left out of the tables (not that I've found anything missing so far).
Print quality is not so good, letters are quite small, the text densely packed on the pages, the paper not so white, and the soft cover prone to water or sauce damage. The book is small and thick and doesn't stay open by itself. But on the other hand, it wasn't expensive, so for me all these physical details are not really an object of complaint. The book is written with a great sense of humour, the recipes detailed and easy to use, the dishes I've cooked are tasty, so for me there's nothing more to ask for!
on 19 October 2007
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:
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.
on 9 November 2000
Mastering the Art of French Cooking vol 2 is an natural complement to the first volume.
This excellent book - now regarded as a standard by keen amateurs and professional chefs alike - is not produced in the style of the latest 'glossy photo' format. Instead, it uses clear and succinct descriptions of the key techniques you'll need to undertake basic and more complex classic French recipes.
It's a clear and accessible guide. If you're keen on developing your cooking skills further then you should have it on your kitchen book shelf.
At 768 pages in length, it's certainly a comprehensive book, and good value when compared with 'TV Chef' books
After 48 Years, This Book Tops The Best Sellers List
Julia Child et al, wrote this mastery of a cookbook over 48 years ago. It has finally made the best seller list this week. The success of the film 'Julia and Julie' and the book of the same name has given Julia Child a leg up! It is not surprising that women who have bought this cookbook are surprised at the amount of butter involved. Americans are afraid of butter. The French use butter and always have in great proportions, but they also eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and they walk- they walk everywhere.
Nora Ephron, Director of 'Julie and Julia' says she had as a goal of her film that people would buy Julia's book. Not only buy it, but cook with it. And, they have in numbers that run into the thousands, 22,000 to be exact. The recipes are not difficult, they take a little extra time, that's all. This is not 'put your dinner on the table in 30 minutes' cookbook. Do you remember Julia Child's cooking show on PBS? We used to watch it every week and laugh along with her as she dropped the chicken on the floor, picked it up and said, no one is here but me!The food looked luscious, even in black and white. My first recipe was the Beef Bourgione and it is still a staple in my kitchen. Her pate brisee is also the best recipe for pie crust and it is so much easier now with a blender. Pie Crust that is flaky and buttery and supports the filling. I recently made a blueberry pie,and it was the taste of summer!. A fresh blueberry pie in the summer with vanilla ice cream tops a meal!
I received Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' again for my birthday this year. It replaced the old tattered copy that has its rightful place in my bookcase. The old one was used and showed it, but isn't that what we want in our cookbooks? Julia Child would be pleased, I think. Unlike, Julie, I am not going to try each recipe, but will go for my tried and true and some new ones, in memory of Julia.
Bon Appetit! You can't beat that!
Highly Recommended. prisrob 08-23-09
My Life in France (Movie Tie-In Edition) (Random House Movie Tie-In Books)
Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
Julia Child - The French Chef
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