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

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,090 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Julia Child has given us answers to these and other questions in the ten masterful volumes she has published over the past 40 years. But which book do you go to for which solution? Now, in this little volume, you can find the answers immediately.

Information is arranged according to subject matter, with ample cross-referencing. How are you going to cook that small rib steak
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published November 14th 2000 by Knopf (first published 2000)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  2,090 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Steven Peterson
May 25, 2011 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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize this is more of a reference book than a read-through type of cookbook, but I greatly enjoyed it anyway. Julia talks to her readers as if they are her friends, and she is original, infinitely knowledgeable, and funny without trying. She knew about all manner of now-trendy practices -- for example, putting a poached egg on just about anything -- before they became trendy. But she would never toot her own horn. She just lays the information before her readers, straightforwardly and ...more
Angela Burkholder
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: food-and-cooking
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.
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Everything this amazing woman does is just like that: AMAZING!
This one's a concentrated volume to have at hand while trying your best at cooking the glorious dishes provided in the masterpiece MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. I am into reading food-related books these days and this was an enjoyable encyclopedia for the curious passionate beginner home chef. I can't wait to get my hands on MTAFC so I can finally make the Boeuf Bourguignon I've been drooling over since Julie & Julia. Oh, the
Tim Post
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful reference

Handy for the drawer, this book is the ultimate cheat sheet for things we tend not to cook often enough for all things to be readily available in memory. The book assumes you know how to cook rather well, and puys useful bits all so easily confused or forgotten within easy reach. Still very relevant even in modern kitchens with A.I. voice assistants, tablets and phones.
I'd consider this Julia's greatest hits. If you don't have one of her volumes in your kitchen, this is the one to pick up.
Ruth Cousins
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a good primer but short on recipes. Best for Beginning cooks
Mickey Stallone
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed!

Such good concise instructions! I sure do miss her. I was only in 10th grade when her show came out. She is my role model for the love of cooking.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Helpful. Some info a tad dated.
Johnnie Gee
Its a cookbook by Julia Childs. How bad could it be? IT IS A COOKBOOK!
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A quick version of Julia's basic techniques- it's geared for anyone who needs some reminders and encouragements to get cooking!
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
Ellen Schauer
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have ever wished you could make a perfect omelette or poached egg, thought clam chowder was too difficult, wailed over a broken hollandaise sauce, or ruined a beautiful big roast, Julia Child rescues you with this book. The chapter on eggs justifies its purchase without any help from the other chapters, and the index is a meal-saving powerhouse. With Julia’s effusive encouragement, I felt emboldened to try techniques I otherwise would never have considered. It’s not an all-encompassing en ...more
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Heather Marks
Feb 03, 2009 rated it liked it
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).
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
 Barb Bailey
Jul 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007, cookbooks
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.
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.
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...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.

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