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

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  33,440 Ratings  ·  406 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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Jul 25, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
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
Freda Labianca
Mar 09, 2010 Freda Labianca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Amanda Nuchols
Mar 09, 2011 Amanda Nuchols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 26, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-the-kitchen
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
Susan Branch
Mar 06, 2016 Susan Branch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. Her book was my foundation for the art of cooking and part of the inspiration when I wrote my own cookbooks. I wonder if Julia, in heaven, can hear the echoes of the laughter at the millions of dinner parties she inspired. She taught me and all my friends to cook. She changed the world and she is loved. If you ever need a short (not long enoug ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 28, 2014 Davek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

• Best: best recipe-writing ever! Most cookbooks put the ingredients list on top and the method (the steps) below. But Julia puts them side by side: each step has its own ingredients list! First step needs a,b,c,d. Next step needs e,f,g,h. and so on. Beside saving space, this is the fastest way if you aim to UNDERSTAND the recipe! (I usually read the recipes a few times to understand what will happen, instead of memorising each step) If there are 2 batche
Helana Brigman
Feb 28, 2013 Helana Brigman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 14, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culinary
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 really liked it  ·  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
Jun 10, 2009 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Feb 10, 2015 Laurel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smarter-now
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
Jul 29, 2014 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
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.

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!"
Jun 11, 2012 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tobias Fünke
Mrs. Featherbottom could learn a thing or two about this.
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.
Sweetman Sweetman
Jan 03, 2010 Sweetman Sweetman rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 17, 2011 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of French food and cooking, new brides, cookbook fans
"Mastering the Art of French Cooking" is among the very best cookbooks I've ever owned and used in my life. Child and her cohorts present each recipes clearly, and the list of ingredients is presented in order of use without last-minute "sprinkle with chopped parsley" and the like appearing at the very end of the recipe with parsley's having been listed in the ingredients list. This happens in a great many poorly written cookbooks. The calm and reassuring voice in which the recipes are written m ...more
Feb 05, 2008 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-and-cookery
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
Feb 21, 2016 Ruth rated it really liked it
My daughter read the instructions out, while I cooked the scrambled eggs. I have to say, that they were perfect.

Many of these recipes are beyond me. I would never dream of boning a duck, stuffing it with pate and then baking it in a pastry crust, but it's nice to read about such delicacies.

However, I do intend to make Boeuf Bourguignon with my daughter for her French homework.
Peter Wolfley
Sep 24, 2014 Peter Wolfley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 02, 2009 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bible for all cooks.

I may start with Potage Parmentier, but I doubt I will be making every recipe and blogging about it as in "Julie and Julia". Potage Parmentier is a favorite, and easy recipe (Potato and leek soup). Julia Child leads the cook through kitchen equipment, sauces, stocks, and basic pastry recipes to elegant complex dishes.

I also recommend reading "My Life in France" by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme which traces the work that went into writing this cookbook and how it led t
May 04, 2015 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watch the movie Julie and Julia pretty often and always wanted to read the cook book. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but they are detailed, sound good, and I plan on making the French onion soup first.
Oct 17, 2014 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John G
Nov 24, 2015 John G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-cooking

I decided to add this book even though everyone knows it and many have cooked from it. I wanted to pay homage to it in my own way. It is arrogant to 'review' a book like this. It was perhaps the most influential foodie book ever published in the English world. Although I did not read her book until years later, I watched Julia’s early TV shows and she was a riot. Unfortunately her wacky fun side does not come through in this work. But it is a book to cherish because of its history.

It is too diff
Janis Ian
Nov 27, 2010 Janis Ian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Say what you will - out-dated, dense, whatever criticism you can offer - Mastering the Art... Vol. 1 & 2 are still the seminal books on the art of French cooking a la haute cuisine. I worked my way through Volume 1 years ago, when I thought my ex-husband (being Portuguese and having lived in France many years) would appreciate it. I stopped doing it for him when he poured Tabasco all over my Beef Bourguignon without tasting it first, but I continued cooking "Julia" for myself.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 books)
  • Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vol. 2

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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.” 49 likes
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