Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1

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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 Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. Here Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle break down the classic foods of France into a logical sequence of themes and variations rather than presenting an endless and diffuse catalogue of dishes. Throughout, the focus is on key recipes that form the backbone of French cookery and lend themselves to an infinite number of elaborations—bound to increase anyone’s culinary repertoire. With over 100 instructive illustrations to guide readers every step of the way, Mastering the Art of French Cooking deserves a place of honor in every kitchen in America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307958174
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/05/2011
Series: Mastering the Art of French Cooking , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 684
Sales rank: 236,875
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

JULIA CHILD, a native of California and a Smith College graduate; Simone (“Simca”) Beck, French-born and -educated; and Louisette Bertholle, half French and half American, educated in both countries, represented an even blending of the two backgrounds and were singularly equipped to write about French cooking for Americans. Child studied at Paris’s famous Cordon Bleu, and all three authors worked under various distinguished French chefs. In 1951 they started their own cooking school in Paris, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, at the same time that Mastering the Art of French Cooking was taking shape. After that, Simone Beck published two cookbooks, Simca’s Cuisine in 1972 and New Menus from Simca’s Cuisine in 1979, and she continued to teach cooking in France until her death in 1991. Louisette Bertholle also had several cookery books published. In 1963, Boston’s WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made Julia Child a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004.

Date of Birth:

August 5, 1912

Date of Death:

August 12, 2004

Place of Birth:

Pasadena, California

Place of Death:

Santa Barbara, California


B.A., Smith College, 1934; Le Cordon Bleu, 1950

Read an Excerpt

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I

40th Anniversary Edition
By Julia Child


Copyright © 2001 Julia Child
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0375413405

Clafouti (Cherry Flan)

The clafouti (also spelled with a final "s" in both singular and plural) which is traditional in the Limousin during the cherry season is peasant cooking for family meals, and about as simple a dessert to make as you can imagine: a pancake batter poured over fruit in a fireproof dish, then baked in the oven. It looks like a tart, and is usually eaten warm.

(If you have no electric blender, work the eggs into the flour with a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the liquids, then strain the batter through a fine sieve.)

3 cups pitted black cherries

1 1/4 cups milk

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour

Powdered sugar in a shaker

For 6 to 8 people

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use fresh, black, sweet cherries in season. Otherwise use drained, canned, pitted Bing cherries, or frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained.

Place the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and flour in your blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.

Pour a 1/4-inch layer of batter in a 7- to 8-cup buttered,fireproof baking dish or pyrex pie plate about 1 1/2 inches deep. Set over moderate heat for a minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from the heat. Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle on the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Place in middle position of preheated oven and bake for about an hour. The clafouti is done when it has puffed and browned, and a needle or knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Sprinkle top of clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the table. (The clafouti need not be served hot, but should still be warm. It will sink down slightly as it cools.)


Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I by Julia Child Copyright © 2001 by Julia Child. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Has it really been 40 years since Julia Child rescued Americans from dreary casseroles? This reissue, clad in a handsome red jacket, is what a cookbook should be: packed with sumptuous recipes, detailed instructions, and precise line drawings. Some of the instructions look daunting, but as Child herself says in the introduction, 'If you can read, you can cook.'"
- Entertainment Weekly

Customer Reviews

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 229 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The title says it all. This is not simply a set of recipes, but a well-organized compendium of French cooking knowledge. I have cooked many things, but have never created something as delicious tasting as my first attempt from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the pork chops with mustard, cream and tomato sauce, and scalloped potatoes with meat stock and cheese. Julia guided my through the process carefully. She also provides information for finding quality ingredients, using the proper cooking instruments and technique, choosing complimenting wines, etc. I like the hierarchal organization of the recipes. Usually she begins a subsection with a master recipe, such as casserole-sautéed pork chops, and then follows with many variations on the master recipe, for example the one I mentioned. At any rate, great food is one of the things I truely enjoy in life and I appreciate this book for its help.
karlamei More than 1 year ago
I love having a digital edition of one of my favorite cookbooks. You can search, which is fantastic. And there are great hyperlinks... so for example, if you are making a bavarian cream, you can click on "beat until stiff peaks are formed" and it will take you to Julia's explanation of how to beat egg whites. But then there is no easy way to get back to your original recipe. AH! The search function is the only thing that keeps this from being unusable. And it's not ideal. This must be fixed in the next edition! Also, all of the illustrations found in the physical version of the book remain intact!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even after forty years since the release of the first Mastering, this book continues to teach, to show, to amaze, and to amuse. At 16 years old, I can say that even if Julia is much much older than I am, her impeccably witty charm and down-to-earth personality inspires me to cook a la francaise. From her excellent stocks to her luxurious Filet de Boeuf Prince Albert, every recipe gives you the know-how needed to transform a gamut of ingredients into a satisfying three-star meal. With her culinary advice, an ordinary home-cooked dish will turn a supper into a dinner party. Without a doubt, this book will continue to make chefs out of amateur cooks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am replacing my original from 1971. It may seem "complicated" at first because Julia offers such in depth instructions, but it is an invaluable tool for any cook. I have been tryng to perfect the perfect soft cooked egg for several months. I referenced many books in my over 150 cookbook library and had no success. I actually bought a Cuisnart egg cooker and the I deceided to check JULIA. Ah yes, I should have looked there first. With no effort I produced the perfect egg and returned the Cuisinart. Don't be daunted by the length of her instructions, the chicken with or without morels is the perfect sauteed chicken. My egg was absolute perfection. Take your time... read, absorb and enjoy. It is worth the time and effort.
alexxa More than 1 year ago
I am a good cook - not a great one and I usually like pictures of the finished recipe, but this is a different sort of cookbook. Read it like a novel first, because Julia teaches then gives examples. I think I will be a better cook because of this book.
Pyewackette More than 1 year ago
I have never bought a Julia Childs cookbook before because I felt her techniques were way over my head. While on vacation with my girlfriends we went to see Julie and Julia and decided to buy the book and cook the Beef Burgundy from the film. Not only was the recipe easy to follow with great advice on the ingredients but it tasted phenomenal. Can't wait to make it again and try something else from the book. By the way the editors have updated the entire book for new innovations (like the electric mixer etc) and lower fat foods, that were not available when the book was first written so this is not just a reprint of the original first volume. The movie was great too!
MP53 More than 1 year ago
Julia Child's cook book Mastering the Art of French Cooking is totally user friendly. She explains everything in an easy to understand everyday speech manner that makes it simple to follow and obtain wonderful results for each recipe. Julia accomplish exactly what she set out to do to make elegant, deliscious gourmet French cooking available to the average American housewife! I tried the Boeuf Bourgignon recipe my first try was a deliscious success. I recommend Julia's cookbook as an excellent course to having good cooking in your home. Her humor makes it a delight to cook.
ileneWA More than 1 year ago
i had this book in the 70's and I just bought it again. The recipes are timeless and delicious. The recipes do require prep time and planning but worth the time and effort
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think people may not appreciate how revolutionary this book was. It made French cuisine available to Americans in their homes. There just wasn't a book on French cuisine in English prior to this one. I'm from a generation that can remember just how bad American food could be in the fifties and sixties. The food revolution began with this book. A classic. Everyone should own a copy (at least of volume one) THANK YOU JULIA, SIMCA AND LOUISETTE!
Drow_boy678 More than 1 year ago
Julia Child was one of the first big tv chefs in the U.S. back in the 60s and 70s, and her book is still as useful as the day it was first printed. Sure its not all that exotic anymore to say that you want to make a crepe or a souffle, but it is still invaluable to have a good solid recipe handy for both of these, and that is exactly what this book provides, good, solid recipes from the repetoirs of traditional French chefs, that are easy to use and delicious to boot! A must! Bon appetite!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The recipes and advice are wonderful. The formatting is dreadful. Go buy the hardback. I truly regret that I didn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you click on 'text' on bottom of page, then click to turn 'ON' publishers defaults, the charts will appear properly.
Bob711 More than 1 year ago
At one time in my life I've been a Chemist and a Food Technologist. My father was a baker and owned his own business. Very early on I had a love of cooking. Julia Child's book is fantastic not only for it's in depth coverage of French cooking but the techniques/information covered is applicable to other styles of cooking. In other words, if you understand the things she covers for french cooking, it's applicable to Italian, American, Asian, etc. Going further the receipes are great and are presented in such a way and with detailed information, to make your efforts in applying what you read successful. Many cook books fail on this point. I highly recommend this book to both the beginner chef and veteran gourmet chef. I will now buy vol. II. I almost forgot - very important, the book is fun.
Telemachos More than 1 year ago
Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a classic that belongs on the shelf of any self respecting chef. What I love most about this cookbook is how it takes some of the "scariest" dishes and breaks them down into skills that even the lowliest cook can master. You are sure to be happy with this purchase!
nomorework More than 1 year ago
I have to state that I am prejudice in my review of this book after seeing the movie "Julie and Julia". I have followed some of Julia Childs recipes and cooking shows over the years but never really had a strong interest in pursuing French cooking until after seeing this movie. The history of Julia's life was very poignant and one that I did not realize, especially the depth of her sadness that she could was not able to have children. This book was actually purchased for my daughter who shared the movie with me and now wants the book to try her own hand at some of Julia's recipes. The book itself has been regarded as a masterpiece by many professional chefs so it is hard to say much more except that it stresses technique, good ingredients and stresses the need to have FUN! If there is any downside it would be that I wish there were more illustrations. I highly recommend this book for anyone wishing to try French cooking and it is an especially elegant gift.
db-reader More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because of the movie Julie and Julia. It exceeds my expectations. The recipes are easy to follow, delicious... and lovely to look at. The book itself is interesting, inspiring and fun to read. Again, exceeded my expectations.
daisy362 More than 1 year ago
This book makes an otherwise complicated pursuit suprisingly simple.
SuzanneB More than 1 year ago
I received this for my 50th birthday.I tried the chicken with cream.It was very easy to make and understand.Not too mention it was to die for.My kitchen is not stocked with fancy pots & pans.I made due with what I had.I didn't incure any problems.This will be a repeat recipe.I highly recommend this cookbook for people who want a simple change in their menu. Can't wait till the next recipe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I find the book very educational. I believe that Julia Child was and still is through her books a very good teacher. There are some recipes that you build by doing previous recipes so you really have to read your recipes before starting, but without doing this she would not have gotten near as much information in the book. There are detailed instructions for every step with drawings if needed. This is definitely a keeper in my kitchen. I will refer to it often. I may even need to buy the second volume soon.
Debbie_K More than 1 year ago
Julia Child is a genius. She is a gifted teacher with the ability to make any daunting cooking endeavor seem achievable and enjoyable. I've just started reading it from front to back, enjoying her engaging and thoroughly practical sections on such basics as white sauce, soup, and ...(that's as far as I've gotten). When reading this book, you feel like Julia is in the room with you, carefully explaining the in's and out's of these classic French cooking techniques. I admit I bought the book as a result of seeing the movie "Julie and Julia", but I'm so glad I did. It's an excellent manual of cooking techniques and recipes that make your mouth water. I thoroughly recommend for any cook's kitchen library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave volume 1 and 2 to my daughter's boyfriend. He is a chef in an upscale restaurant in Ohio. He absolutely loves the books and started reading them immediately. The dishes they both prepared together were wonderful. He would recommend this book to every cook out there.
MariquitaMW More than 1 year ago
Neat, neat book. Fun to cook out of. Except no pictures! A little heavy on the butter. Can't cook out of it too much, due to its high use of butter. But, delicious in any case.
ClaudineDC More than 1 year ago
Like many others, I picked up this book as a result of having read Julie and Julia. I was intrigued, to say the least, by the life of Julia Child, and needed to explore her great accomplishment. The opportunity for food adventure sang its siren song. I have prepared over fifty recipes in the past few months. All have tasted very good. The simple dishes, such as Buttered Peas and her directions for Saute'ed Mushrooms, are quite clear and easy to follow. There are several dishes, such as her Apple Tart, which are good recipes, which I will adjust to suit my tastes when I make them in the future. This is not a critique, as taste is very subjective, and I, for example, don't care for extremely sweet desserts. The chapter on Sauces is heavenly, giving excellent instructions that make preparing tricky egg and butter based sauces almost foolproof. The more involved recipes - yes, including her Boeuf Bourguignon - can be a bit vague. In that recipe, it's not clear ahead of time that you will be picking all of the sliced carrots and onions out of the cooked meat and bacon. I will be using a mesh bag next time! And just dredge your beef in some flour before you brown it, or add the flour to the cooked beef in the casserole, and let it brown a bit, before you put it into the oven. That step of taking the pan in and out of the oven every four minutes, to brown the flour and seal the meat, wastes a lot of energy, increases the possibility of burning yourself, and did not result in a rich, spoon coating sauce. I had to add some cooked flour to the sauce at the end, to change it from being rather watery. There is also quite a bit of jumping around between pages. The Boeuf Bourgignon recipe itself, for example, involves the recipe for Basic Stock, Brown Stock, Saute'ed Mushrooms, Brown-braised Onions, and the information page on preparing onions, (as the recipe just says "peel", and usually that involves a quick dip into boiling water, but, without specifics, I was concerned as to any effect on cooking time). The depth of flavor makes this dish a delight, but I have made copious notes in my copy of changes that will save time without changing the end result. This is a book that I would heartily recommend to anyone, with the caution that someone with no experience in the kitchen may become somewhat frustrated with the complicated directions. Because Mastering the Art of French Cooking is intended to teach skills, those who look to this as training, and follow the recipes as learning experiences, will gain a great foundation in the culinary arts. People who have spent a lot of time in their kitchens, whipping up dishes since they could reach a pot on the stove, may do best to read through a recipe, and then prepare the dish as they feel is practical. And I must say to Julie Powell, "Great Job! I don't know that I could accomplish what you did, even in two years." Since these didn't come up in the search, I also recommend: Classic Dishes Made Easy, Piepenbrock/Fischer; The Classic Italian Cookbook, Marcella Hazen; and The Essential Dessert Cookbook, Bay Books
micki15 More than 1 year ago
I think this book belongs in the home of everyone who wants to cook, likes to cook, may think about cooking or is just learning. Julia Child knew what she was doing in the kitchen. In these days of less fat every once in a while treat yourself.
mktgyr More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to get this cookbook. You have to really take your time and follow the instructions exactly. Some of the recipes are complicated. Also some of the recipes refer to previously read pages for certain techniques. I have to say I was a bit let down by the way the recipes are written. But Julia Child was a master and I don't regret purchasing the book