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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1

Average Rating 4
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(94)

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(56)

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(37)

2 Star

(18)

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(17)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

Simply Amazing

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 Cook...
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.

posted by Anonymous on February 13, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Great to have a searchable digital edition, but one fatal flaw

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 Juli...
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!

posted by karlamei on October 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Great book

    Provides some history of Julia, provides very good basic information. Can't wait to read the rest of it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2010

    Classic French Cooking in a great read!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    French Cookint!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is an amazing book, and a valuable addition to any well "stocked" kitchen.

    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

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    Awesome beginner book.

    I wish I had this book when I started cooking for my family. The instructions are easy to read and very detailed. This was a new style of cooking I was anxious to try. I have had no problem learning the steps and process of French cooking, even though I am more familiar with Italian and Mexican cooking. I have made a souffle with awesome results. It was easier than I ever thought it would be. My souffle rose to great heights, I think even Julia would be proud! : ) A must have for your cookbook library!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    If Not Butter then Cream

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Matering French Cooking

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2014

    Hi soulslayer

    Sup

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Best Cook Book Ever

    So I am slowly cooking my way thru this book! Beef Bourginon is my favorite recipe so far!

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Reference book

    I bought this book out of curiosity because I love the movie Julie & Julia. When I polled my French foodie friends for a French cookbook "Mastering..." was the cookbook...I'm not sure if out of respect or because it is THE book on French cooking. I am not an expert so my review is limited to my own experiences and tastes.

    Many of the recipes seem dated and unusable but even reading was interesting from a historical reference if anything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Best cook ever try it

    You should get this if you have kids they love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    Both Vol available for Nook Color an less Expensive

    Ok I'm happy. I was able to purchase both vol l and vol ll for the Nook Color. I had to do a search for Nook book to find them and they were less expensive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Best cookbook i have at home

    This book is great matt and i have made potato and leek soupitwas great i tried poached eggs and failed!but i will be trying many other recipes in the near future

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  • Posted December 22, 2011

    loved it

    I have not tried all recipes yet, but it seems to be a great basic French classic recipes summary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

    Highly recommended - The authoritative source book.

    None better than Julia Child. For those who fear French cooking, this will put you at ease.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Comprehensive

    We purchased this cook book after watching the movie Julie and Julia. It is an invaluable reference. We've tried several of the recipes - all outstanding. Highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to advance their culinary skills.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    Loved the Movie, Had to Have the Book

    I fell in love with the Julie and Julia movie and had to own Julia Child's book. I think of it as a collector's item and plan to learn French Country Julia style.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    wow... just wow!

    with tons of easy-to-read recipes, great flavors and a unmistakable amount of intelligence... Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is a beacon of hope for the "serventless american cook"... Bon Appetit!

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    This book is the key ingredient

    Have your own "Julia Event" - Everybody is assigned a receipe from the book. A wonderful way to spend the evening or other special event. You can't have a "Julia Event" without this book. By the way - the recipes are all great and the instructions are ... well, good enough. May she rest in peace.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Delicious Reading!!

    I admit it, I saw the movie and was intrigued.
    I do enjoy cooking, and I love to watch Food network when I get the chance, and often go to the website for recipes...
    But I have to say, just having the recipes doesn't make you a good cook. Techniques is what makes the difference. I didn't know that until I bought this book and started reading. That's right. READING. It's true, this book is unlike any cookbook I have. It really feels like Julia (I do feel like I am on a first name basis with her)is in the kitchen with you, because she writes like she is talking. It reads like a novel, with appropriate recipes interspursed along the way. She doesn't just say, "Do this, then do that." She tells you why, and she tells you to "make sure you don't do this." and then tells you why, so that you understand why you are doing what you are doing.
    I have started from the beginning, in soups, and have so far made Potato with Leek soup and Onion Soup. Both were REALLY yummy.
    I highly recommend "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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