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Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,658 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
How many minutes should you cook green beans? Is it better to steam them or to boil them?
What are the right proportions for a vinaigrette?
How do you skim off fat?
What is the perfect way to roast a chicken?

Julia Child gave us extensive answers to all these questions–and so many more–in the masterly books she published over the course of her career. But which one do you turn
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Knopf (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steven Peterson
May 25, 2011 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Child describes the focus of the book thus (Page ix): So often you can be in the midst of cooking and you just can't remember whether that leg of lamb should roast in a 325 degree or a 350 degree oven. . .This book aims to give quick snappy answers to many of these questions."

Chapters within this book include: Soup and sauces; Salads and dressings; Vegetables; Meats, poultry, and fish; Egg cookery; Breads, crepes, and tartes; Cakes and cookies; Kitchen equipment and definitions.

Examples of
Aug 19, 2009 Bailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites
This book is basically a crash-course in making delectable treats for those who might be too intimidated by the behemoth that is Mastering the Art of French Cooking, kitchen novices, or people who want to brush up on their kitchen skills. Not all of the recipes are simple, but she provides a good amount of detail and there really isn't a lot of questioning the methods - they're straightforward and understandable. I like that she sometimes explains why a certain technique works scientifically, be ...more
Jun 12, 2010 CJ rated it it was amazing
A small book, a little over 100 pages, packed with 'a lifetime of cooking' expertise of Julia Child. The book arose from Julia's looseleaf notebook she kept in her kitchen. A Cliff Notes, as it were.

The book assumes the reader knows his/her way around a stove and has a reasonably furnished kitchen. What is does is present a 'master receipe' and several different ways to change it to be something else that is wonderful. More than once, Julia tells the reader to consult a larger cookbook for more
For someone who doesn't know super basic things about cooking (what even is an endive? how do you cook meats? it's possible to MAKE mayonnaise??) such as myself, I'd recommend grabbing a physical copy of this to keep in your kitchen as a quick reference. Split up into the basic meal types--ie, salads, fish, eggs, etc--the book has Julia's basic, go-to recipe for everything, provides a few variations, and includes one slightly more elaborate recipe per section. Favorite part = sauces! And the pro ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Nichole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the simplicity of this book. Julia provides some easier "Master Recipes" but reminds us that once you know a recipe, you don't necessarily need to glance at it every time you prepare a dish.

I highlighted a lot of "master recipes' and some beautiful take homes that only Julia:

Once you have mastered a technique you hardly need look at a recipe again, and can take off on your own.

When you have a few cake formulas and filling ideas in your repertoire, you will find that it’s pretty much an ass
Angela Burkholder
It's a handy little book to have around. Basic recipes to get you started on creating your own thing. I use her chowder base to make corn, clam, potato and many other chowders. It has meat roasting times and temperatures, tips for how to prepare different vegetables and other basic essentials. I also use the crepe recipe in here. My copy is splattered and well worn. I refer to it often.
Apr 03, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
this is such a beautiful, uncomplicated, straightforward look at basic cooking rules. Julia is full of inspiration and ideas for simple ways to make beautiful food. Especially take note of the section on eggs...if it doesn't inspire you to make some eggs then I just don't even know what to say. :)
Oct 01, 2009 Trina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just love Julia Child, as you read her recipes you can see that she has a REAL love for food. You know that every recipe she wrote she injoyed it. She wouldnt write anything that she wouldnt eat herself. And you dont see that with much cheifs this days. God Bless Julia Child.
a great book for a beginner cook who wants to learn a few very adaptable recipes and techniques to start out with. if you're an experienced cook and already have a lot of cookbooks, this one probably isn't so useful for you.
Jul 30, 2010 LJ rated it liked it
Hardy har har. I love Julia Child, I really do. I think her "Mastering the Art..." cookbooks belong in a museum, let alone in the kitchens of people everywhere. However, let's not kid ourselves that ANY of this is simple or basic. For pete's sake her recipe for making hard boiled eggs is almost a page long! That being said, she is still adorable and her love affair with food is definitely admirable, if not contagious.

So this book is not the "cooking for dummies" that I thought it might be, but t
Aug 13, 2015 patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads, food
Excellent recap on the basics. I used this book to prep 2 items for dinner tonight.
Jan 25, 2015 Soccergypsy rated it really liked it
So excited to try many of these recipes. Loved the tips!
a defininte must read/study for any serious home cook & aspiring chef
Sep 02, 2007 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
This book is not a standard cookbook. It does provide recipes, but is not meant to provide exhaustive collections for every dish and variation. Rather, it emphasizes a way of cooking based on mastery of fundamentals, or as she puts it, a small set of master recipes. Using a master recipe as the basis, one can eventually developing a familiarity and ease with technique for whole classes dishes derived from the master recipe, leading perhaps to improvisation and certainly improvement of one's cook ...more
Aug 28, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a useful book, although I imagine it was more useful 10 years ago before the internet was so prevalent. It has some basic recipes, but also lots of hints and tips from JC. I think, though, that many of her hints are easily available online now. I got this book for free from Borders when they launched their e-Reader iPhone app, and I'm glad I flipped through it, but unless you cook a lot of fancy/french food, it's probably not worth paying a lot of money for.
Annette McIntyre
Feb 06, 2016 Annette McIntyre rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking, non-fiction
Many excellent hints and tips from a world renowned chef.
Jan 14, 2012 Nomad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-writing
VERY good for the home cook. All the tips are arranged in a logical manner and the recipies that make the best demonstrations of said tips are immediately following the tips.

I think this is a kitchen essential. No home chef should be without it. It doesn't matter if you want to cook French food or if you would rather skip Ms. Child's other cookbooks. This is all solid cooking advice that defies genre. Well worth the money.
Oct 02, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even if you skim this book and pick up one or two techniques you hadn't previously employed, you will be a better cook for it. sometimes I think we tend to do too much to things; cook them too long, season them too much, instead of preparing good, fresh items simply and letting their own character shine. This book teaches you how to do that in a matter of fact, accessible way.
Nov 16, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Child's own reader's digest version of her cookbooks. Think of them as "reminder recipes." Chocolate ganache is 1 cup heavy cream and 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, BUT if you've made ganache before, you know it needs to be attended to. Also Alton Brown's method for french fries is much better. But a nice little book to have around, and it doesn't take up much shelf space.
Tabitha Beck
Feb 16, 2010 Tabitha Beck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschool, cooking, home
While reading other books on French lifestyles, I became ...enamored of the food described...of the meals described in several different books...American fare ... and American ... processes...seem to me to be so sadly lacking...I decided to see what I could learn from the best of all chef's...not to knock Gordon, his books are next on my list anyway...
Sep 02, 2014 Doroti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Търпеливо изчетох всичко, почти нищо не запомних, с малки изключения.
Мнооого сложно ми се видя за моите възможности, желание и свободно време.
Heather Marks
Julia is always great, and so funny. I was hoping for more pithy commentary, not just a how-to. Very useful, especially for someone who really likes to cook, but I like my cookbooks (and how-to books, for that matter) to have lots of pictures - and this one doesn't! Otherwise a 4 (if they added lots of glossy photos).
May 28, 2012 TallOrangeAngry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've never had anyone take you under their wing and show you the basics of how to cook, this book will be invaluable to you. Full of little tricks and advice that you'd probably never come to on your own.... but would be obvious to anyone who grew up in a family that cooks.

I love it.
Jun 29, 2008 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I didn't use this much the first few years I had it because I still needed to get more comfortable with the basics. Now I find a great resource for understanding the details involved in making something the best way, not just the okay way.
Shawna R.
Jan 03, 2016 Shawna R. rated it liked it
I just skimmed this book over (it's a library book), and the most helpful parts to me were how to properly make eggs and omelettes. These techniques can also be found on the internet. There aren't any photos.
 Barb Bailey
Who could possibly go wrong using Julia Childs recipes? She is a Master Chef! And this book has lots of helpful kitchen hnits as well as good basic recipes like Julia's Tuna Salad. I have tried many of her excellent recipes.
Nov 21, 2011 Lbaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cook-books
A book published in 2000, showcasing Julia Child's lifetime of cooking experience. Lovely photos from her seven cooking series, teaching basics and advanced recipes to the reader. I particularly love the egg cookery chapter.

Feb 10, 2010 Vickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this smaller Julia book. After watching "Julie & Julia" I was inspired to make one of her recipes, but I was not ready to Master the Art of French Cooking, so I'm thankful I found this one at the library.
Apr 02, 2010 Becca added it
Shelves: didn-t-finish-it
I really mostly browsed in this book instead of reading. It is full of Julia's advice on how to do all sorts of things in the kitchen. I didn't try any of it, so I can't comment on whether it was good advice or not.
Oct 25, 2007 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ohhhh MAN! Everyone needs read this book! Gives you all the basics so you can be one of those cooks that improvises and throws ingredients around like its no big deal, without a recipe in sight.
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Julia Child was a famous American cook, author, and television personality who introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream through her many cookbooks and television programs. Her most famous works are the 1961 cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and, showcasing her sui generis television persona, the series The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.

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“Once you have mastered a technique, you barely have to look at a recipe again” 51 likes
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