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Mastering the Art of French Cooking

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  47,952 ratings  ·  480 reviews
For over fifty years, New York Times bestseller Mastering the Art of French Cooking has been the definitive book on the subject for American readers. Featuring 524 delicious recipes, in its pages home cooks will find something for everyone, from seasoned experts to beginners who love good food and long to reproduce the savory delights of French cuisine, from historic Galli ...more
Hardcover, 752 pages
Published October 16th 2001 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published 1961)
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Joseph Gomes They are as authentic as she could make them taking into account the American audience but never deviating from the classic preparations. Always expla…moreThey are as authentic as she could make them taking into account the American audience but never deviating from the classic preparations. Always explaining whether there was a change or simplification and the reason(s) why. It is a fabulous book and as a cook it must be a part of any good cooks library. My recommendation is to start with the Boeuf a la Bourguignonne. Follow the recipe exactly as written, do not cut corners.
These recipes have been tested and re-tested and work every time if you follow the directions she has laid out for you. It is a fabulous and lasting homage to the Art of French Cuisine.
The short answer to your question is yes. Good Luck !!(less)

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Jul 25, 2013 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 contractors
Freda Mans-Labianca
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing

• 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
Susan Branch
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: americana, have, classics, food
This classic cookbook has been a mainstay for my wife and I for over forty almost fifty years now. Our copy has clear tape holding the hard covers together, and a loose page (315) indicates the recipe it has been open to most often over the years: Boeuf Bourguignon. This incredible stew has probably been eaten in our household at least once per annum since the first year we had the cookbook.

It's true that the classic French cooking of the mid-twentieth century is somewhat dated nowadays, primari
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
♥ Ibrahim ♥
May 06, 2016 rated it liked it
It's a good book. I was so curious about French way of cooking because of how people rave about it and all that. Well, their cooking is not healthy at all as they use a lot of butter. It is just their own cooking, like any cooking, nothing special or I really need to know about. I intend to stick to my simple way of eating that tries to be as health conscious as possible. Hey, it's all food in the end!
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 15, 2009 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 rated it really liked it
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
Mich Must Read
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yummy-stuff
This is not really a book to "finish". I will come back to this over and over. Its excellent. I made mushroom soup, french onion soup, and cassoulet. By the by, if you look it up on you tube there is an entire series that corresponds to these recipes that she well as the Julia Child snl skit with Dan Akroid and an Epic Rap Battles skit. Yeah...I might have gone down a couple of youtube rabbit holes with this one.
Oct 05, 2013 marked it as to-read
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.
I'd be the one tasting the dishes, so society is safe.
Helana Brigman
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Ghost of the Library
I am nowhere near finished with this beauty but since it belongs to the library and not me, well i have to send it back :(

This is a seriously amazing cookbook!
A genuine testament to the talent and skill of its authors that after all these years it remains relevant, this bible of cookbooks is of a somewhat daunting size but oh my the secrets it hides within....yum!

Everything is wonderfully well explained and amazingly simple to follow even without any kind of visual aid (kill me, i like a cookb
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 10, 2009 rated it liked it
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!
Zack  Johnson
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
The foie gras was devilish and exciting but the salmon had a Dickensian dryness comparable only to the wet soot off the tattered gloves of a common cockney chimney sweep. Also, she can't pair wine with an amuse bouche to save her ass or her apron. Really good book and I'd recommend it to both my closest lifelong friend or most hated enemy.
Eric Wilson
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What's not to love about the great Julia Child?! Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a must read! And it has a permanent place on my bookshelf at home, right along with so many other cookbooks that I own! I loved this one. It's a great reference.
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
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!"
Sarah MacLean
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not just the creme de la creme of cookbooks, but also a great resource...Julia takes you through the basics--how to stock your kitchen, how to chop a mushroom, how to make a quiche, how to roast a chicken, etc. The book is a staple for a dinner party...or to answer a random question that comes up about food.

It's also well written and one of the few cookbooks that begs for you to sit down and read.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the hell out of this the tune of 20lbs. Reader beware.
PS: I highly recommend the chicken with port and cream.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My grandmother purchased this book in 1966, so not quite a first edition, but the cover looked like this one. You would think with a 700 page book written in the 1950's with no pictures (a few pencil sketches), it would be obsolete. Not so, my ambitious culinary friends! It is surprisingly accessible. I looked up Bearnaise sauce which I had recently butchered, and yep, there it was and all the ways I could have fixed it.

Julia says that the French don't have so many recipes but they have perfecte
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This book is a classic for a reason. It was inspiring and would be the perfect reference for specific techniques. I did only try two recipes, but intend to revisit the book at some point in the future... the recipes are designed to feed a large group of people.
Leiza Hicks
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
One of my favorite cookbooks. Good traditional recipes.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.

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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.

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.” 58 likes
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