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Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Mastering the Art of French Cooking #1)

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  27,304 ratings  ·  370 reviews
In 1961 Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle, collaborating on the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, began a virtual revolution in American cookery. In the years that have passed, as their book has found its way into almost 700,000 American families, and as Julia Child has been seen across the country on her French Chef programs broadcast by...more
Paperback, 670 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 1961)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Freda mans
How can you judge a book like this one, one who is so critically acclaimed?! You really don't. You just judge what your personal experience was.
My experience was easier than I thought. I woke this morning with the idea, a soup recipe would take hours, because it's French and Julia Child's, but it didn't. We were eating at 4:30 pm. That is an early supper, but it was a good one.
Honestly as I was making the soup, I actually wondered if I would like it when it finished. I was becoming turned off, b...more
Amanda Nuchols
My husband bought me this book for Valentine's Day because we had recently watched "Julie and Julia" and I had mentioned how I couldn't believe that after all these years of cooking, I hadn't yet acquired this book.
It's popularity since the movie might seem a little cliche, but really, this is the most thorough, easy-to-understand, and excellent cookbook I have ever owned. The only comparable book is "Good Housekeeping's Illustrated Cookbook," which I also own and use regularly.
Although this bo...more
Sheila
My husband watched the movie Julie & Julia on television, and asked me why I didn't have these cookbooks. Since I didn't have a good answer for him I went out and bought them, the boxed set of both Volume 1 and Volume 2.

My first recipe cooked was Soupe a L'oignon (onion soup), because, well, I love French Onion Soup so this seemed like a good place to start. I followed the recipe to the letter, a process which took me about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. The day I cooked it, some contract...more
Kelly
Checklist for Impressing New In-Laws:
1. Plenty of face smoothing make-up (that is, if they are the "look don't touch" types)
2. Wear your best (depending on if your father-in-law-to-be is a pervert or not, wear something slimming and fantastic)
3. NO: hemming, hawing, donkey calling. Laugh cutesy.
4. Whatever you do, don't forget the garlic bread...AND..
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. There never was a better dead person to confer to about making your stiff-lipped, uptight in-la...more
Amanda
I have wanted a copy of this book for the last decade or so, ever since I had to start cooking for myself. Part of it is the way I perceive French cooking--fresh, fancy, and impressive--and part of it is the warmth of Julia Child, whose PBS show I got hooked on during the many years I couldn't afford cable. I mentioned this off-hand to my boyfriend once when we were in Williams-Sonoma, and he surprised me with a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking last nig...more
Susan Branch
This is how I learned to cook, by going through this masterpiece of a book page by page, hunting for the ingredients and making Julia's delicious recipes. She taught me to give dinner parties; I tried out her recipes on my friends or as I liked to call them "victims." "Julia taught me" how to cook, how to roast a perfect juicy, brown, buttery crisp-skinned chicken; to make my own sponge ladyfingers to line the mold for the perfect Charlotte Malakoff au Chocolat. Her book was my foundation for th...more
Aaron
Indispensable. Sits quite happily on my kitchen countertop, and is referenced often. If you have any interesting in cooking, MTAOFC is a must. Not even so much for the recipes- of course, for the recipes- they are delicious and Julia is exact and did I mention they are delicious?- BUT each recipe is an event. The beautiful thing about this cookbook (and it's recipes) is that, like good food, it does not appear in a vacuum- there is the lore of Julia, the lore of the recipes, Julia's colorful ins...more
MaryBeth Donnelly
I have had this cookbook on my to try list for some time, but always seemed a bit intimidated by it. However, I read my Life in France by the author, and realized it was a how to book (though some recipes are more complicated than others). Anyway, this book is a true classic, a first in its field. The first recipe I tried was her roast chicken. I've made many a roast chicken in my time, but this was delicious. Next up is one of her soups (maybe the garlic one she mentioned in the book). I love t...more
Laurel
I love to cook, but this book might be the death of me. It's worth reading because Julia Child is a master of efficiency. She's not a purist, and I love that. There's a lot to learn from her. For example, I've wondered why American croissants are nothing like French croissants. No comparison. Child explains that French butter is not a new, sweet cream, but a nutty, aged cream, and that French flour is not the same, either. Because EVERYTHING (no exaggeration) in French cooking begins with butter...more
Linda
My first Julia Child cookbook - it has a "Bon Appetit! Love Aunt Aldean 1973" inscription on the front page. Lots of opportunities to reminisce and laugh with this cookbook. I'm sure my husband wondered what he had gotten himself into with my (ad)ventures into the world of French cuisine, but he stuck by me anyway. The cover is extremely tattered, the pages are falling out - a sure sign that it's a treasure. Alright, I just finished flipping 50+ crepes for tomorrow's 7th and 8th grade French cla...more
Heath Robinson
Apr 12, 2008 Heath Robinson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love excessive amounts of butter and cream.
I'm curretly revisiting this one. I had to put it away for a few months due to the weight gain from round one with Julia...butter anyone? This book made me realize how much I love cooking. She breaks the recipes down so anyone can understand. I've made several dishes from the book now and the recipes are hard to truly screw up. Julia Child makes it possible for anyone to feel like a culinary star. Screw Rachael Ray!. Julia will always be the queen. She's like the Oprah of the culinary arts. P.S....more
Adam
I'm a novice cookbook reader and more or less a novice cook, though I know food well. Actually, by the horrendous standards of North American home kitchens, I'm a highly experienced and profoundly skilled home cook. But I stress the horrendous standards part. I also don't really want to use Goodreads to rate cookbooks because there's just something odd about giving any cookbook five stars and having it sit there next to fucking Hamlet like it's of the same standard. But I did read these things.

S...more
Megan
I learned it is impossible to read a Julia Child book without hearing her voice in your head.
Actually, I was thinking of cooking every recipe in this book over the course of a year and blog about it, then get a book deal. Then I could get Nora Ephron to write the screenplay for a movie about my book and get Amy Adams and Meryl Streep to star in it. Apparently that has been done. So I will cook every recipe in Nora Ephron's book "Heartburn" and blog about that instead. Take that!
Samantha
OK, so coming to America I had heard of Julia Child but other than a vague familiarity I didn't think about her much. Food I think about all the time and it was whilst reading a comment by Anthony Bourdain that when in doubt he turns to Mrs Child that I though for the first time, she sounds interesting. One doesn't think of Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain together. Then about 2 years ago now there was a discussion on a foodie site about making croissants and I became filled with the desire to c...more
Helana Brigman
The Good-Humored, Encouraging Teacher–Honestly, I don’t know how Julia does it. She takes some extraordinarily complicated recipes and explains them with such precision and accuracy, that you cannot help but appreciate every word. In between the instructions, Julia’s authorial voice emerges in each of her recipes. She’s humorous, light-hearted, and always positive. Julia ensures that if she can a pastry from scratch, certainly you, with the better kitchen appliances and ingredients can too. It’s...more
Peter Wolfley
The Julia child story is remarkable and I think she should always be remembered as a great pioneer woman.

I didn't get through all of this book but I did learn how to make an array of incredible omlettes. I would buy this book for our kitchen collection but so many of the recipes involve wine and I'm just not that classy.
Brendan
The basics on vegetables are here-- maybe a bit plain by today's standards, or sometimes overly complicated (who is going to fight with an artichoke or make a moussaka a la turque steamed in a lining of eggplant skin in a timbale mould) but most of the recipes are well worth the effort.

Book Two has more ambitious baking (the infamous Dacquoise) and even baguettes, which still don't come out quite right as American flour has a different ash content and American ovens don't produce steam like prof...more
Ash
Jan 28, 2014 Ash marked it as to-read-nf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, library
Browsed through the book in a bookstore. Most of the dishes are non-vegetarian. Also there are hardly any pictures or diagrams. I think a vegetarian like me might not find the book very useful. Better to borrow from library, instead of buying the book.
Rachel
Sep 27, 2007 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love butter
Shelves: nonfiction
I have never done a single recipe from this book because it makes everything sound really, really difficult. Still, it's fun to read if you like butter as much as I do. I tend to read it while I am eating something I have made from a more accessible, less cholesteroly cookery author such as Debbie Madison. A while ago I read Julia's omelet instructions and was, like, "Oh dear! I've been doing everything wrong for all this time!" And then I never made an omelet again.
Sherrel Wiser
After watching the move Julie and Julia with my daughter, we decided to duplicate the premise of the movie, purchase the book, and cook through it. Well, I ordered the book online and read it over the weekend. I have tabs on all the recipes we are going to do over the next year. So far, we have finished soups and sauces. My husband, is very supportive! If we mess up, we just smile, and using our best Julia Child's voice say "Neeever apologize for trying!"
Megan
I did the whole cooking my way through this during a period of uncertainty around my employment, ten years before the blog came out, so I guess that's a thing. This is also an amazing manual for an amateur chef. It is not fancy - no glossy photos of food - but if you read it cover to cover, you'll be a much better cook. I didn't bother making the aspics, but the foundations for many of my staple recipes started here. Highly recommended.
Val Mccall
In my cooking days (when my children were young), this book was my bible and Julia Childs my cooking mentor! I strongly recommend the 2009 movie "Julie & Julia" staring Meryl Streep as Julia Childs and Amy Adams as the character Julie. It renewed my adoration of cooking and inspired me to write daily on my blog, which has nothing to do with cooking but is written with the same spirit and enthusiasm as cooking with Julia.
Amber
There is a lot of great technique and organization to this book. It is as relevant today as it was when first published in the 50's. I especially like how the authors give a base recipe and then give the changes needed to produce another type of sauce or main dish. Although the recipes seem complex, I will feel confident with this book at my side when in the kitchen.
Aloha
I don't want to disparage the grand dame of cooking, but I hated all the recipes I've tried from her vol1 & 2 books. Maybe because I'm used to the nouveau fusion cuisine of today, but all of the recipes are too heavy handed for my taste. I enjoyed her recent books better. I'm glad Julie Powell found success with Julia's cookbooks, I certainly didn't.
Florencia
I think this one is too much for me (and my skills). I probably should settle with mastering the art of avoiding death by inanition.
But I won't! Anyway, I'll be the one tasting the dishes, so society is safe.
B
I've only done a few recipes so far but I'm loving it XD
Angela
Like any good Iowan, I tried a Julia's roast pork recipes. Also, a few braised veg and fruit dishes, What can I say, it's been cold outside despite the first day of spring. MmmMmmm… At first, some of the extra steps seemed necessary. Do you really need to parboil the potatoes a half minute before adding them to the roast? Maybe not, but when the softened potatoes are sautéed in bacon flavored fat, the layers of flavor combine with the sublime texture of the juicy roasted meat to create something...more
Annabel
Yes I read the entire cookbook. Cover to cover. Didn't cook a recipe, I will in the future though. However I learned so much techniques from this book it's unbelievable. Loved it to bits!

Niet zo lang geleden schreef ik een filmrecensie over de film Julie & Julia in deze film ging het over Julie Powell die de recepten uit het beroemde boek Mastering the Art of French Cooking van Julia Child, Simone Beck (en een beetje Louisette Bertholle) maakt. Deze film maakte mij zo nieuwsgierig naar het b...more
Sweetman Sweetman
Jan 03, 2010 Sweetman Sweetman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has their own kitchen
Recommended to Sweetman by: Julia Child
Shelves: classics, influential
A must-have for all who have their "own" kitchen. It's a monument, the sign of someone who knows how important it is to be able to present a beautifully roasted chicken, a perfect white sauce or asparagus done to the "nth" degree of tenderness.
Keep in mind I said someone who knows how important it is to cook this way. The actual execution of nearly ALL of my beloved Ms. Child's recipes require a professional kitchen, an arsenal of specific and expensive cooking tools and at least a week to pull...more
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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.

More about Julia Child...
My Life in France The Way to Cook Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, and Savor... Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vol. 2 Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home

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“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.” 43 likes
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