The French Chef Cookbook

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Overview

Boeuf Bourguignon. Crepes Suzette. Brioche. French Onion Soup. Quiche Lorraine. Coq au Vin. These and so many other mouthwatering classics of French cuisine owe their presence in America's kitchens to one extraordinary chef: Julia Child. The ultimate authority on fine French cooking in America, Child awakened the American palate to this cuisine, and was devoted to making it accessible to home cooks.
 
In 1963, Julia Child's remarkable ...

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Overview

Boeuf Bourguignon. Crepes Suzette. Brioche. French Onion Soup. Quiche Lorraine. Coq au Vin. These and so many other mouthwatering classics of French cuisine owe their presence in America's kitchens to one extraordinary chef: Julia Child. The ultimate authority on fine French cooking in America, Child awakened the American palate to this cuisine, and was devoted to making it accessible to home cooks.
 
In 1963, Julia Child's remarkable personality came to life in American kitchens with her groundbreaking public television show, The French Chef. Designed to teach the basics of classical French cuisine through a series of recipes, the show was a tremendous success and made Julia Child a household name and a culinary celebrity.
 
In The French Chef Cookbook, cooks will find all of the classic French recipes presented on The French Chef. With her signature devotion to culinary education, Julia Child takes the reader through the essential techniques of her cuisine, from how to fry an egg to how to make the most luscious and elaborate desserts. Her valuable notes on ingredients and equipment and her step-by-step directions place even the most complicated dishes within reach of home cooks. Equally useful for novices and experienced chefs, this book is an essential in every kitchen.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375710063
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/6/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST KNOPF
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 399,025
  • Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 8.21 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Child

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. She was graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during World War II in Ceylon and China, where she met Paul Child. After there were married they lived in Paris, where she studied at the Cordon Bleu and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). In 1963, Boston's WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made her a national celebrity, earning her a Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several publish television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004.

Biography

If leeks, shallots, and sea salt are available at your local supermarket, you probably have Julia Child to thank for it. At a time when many home cooks had nothing more ambitious in their repertoires than Jell-O salad, Child revolutionized the American kitchen, demonstrating that with good ingredients and a few French techniques, even the novice chef could turn out bistro-worthy dinners of boeuf bourguignon and tarte Tatin.

Child's interest in teaching techniques, rather than simply listing fancy recipes, was evident from her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which took years of collaboration (with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle) and experimentation to write. Craig Claiborne, reviewing the book for The New York Times in 1961, wrote: "Probably the most comprehensive, laudable, and monumental work on [French cuisine] was published this week, and it will probably remain the definitive work for nonprofessionals." He was right -- it's been a top seller ever since.

To promote the book, the Cordon Bleu–trained Child made an appearance on WGBH in Boston. Not content merely to talk about cooking, she brought along eggs, a hot plate, and a whisk, and demonstrated the proper way to make an omelette. The station producers recognized a potential star, and Child's first television show, The French Chef, was born. Soon thousands of viewers were tuning in to watch Julia flip crepes, blanch beans, and sear steaks. Each show ended with her signature sign-off: "Bon app├ętit!"

Since then, Child has hosted hundreds of television episodes, and her cookbooks have continued to be both inspiring and practical. Volume two of Mastering the Art of French Cooking was followed by titles like The Way to Cook, Cooking with Master Chefs and Julia's Kitchen Wisdom. Child also co-founded the American Institute of Wine and Food, an educational organization devoted to gastronomy. Many top-flight professional and celebrity chefs -- including Alice Waters, Emeril Lagasse, and Thomas Keller -- have cited Julia Child as an inspiration. "My own copy of volume one [of French Cooking] is so worn that the duct tape holding it together looks natural," chef Jasper White once noted.

Still, Child remains best known for bringing good food into the home, where she championed "food as an art form, as a delightful part of civilized life." And though she's expanded her range to include American, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisines, she hasn't been influenced by fad diets or fat phobias. She still cooks with butter and cream. As she told Nightline, "Small helpings, no seconds, a little bit of everything, no snacking and have a good time. I think if you follow that, you're going to be healthy, wealthy and wise."

Good To Know

During World War II, Julia McWilliams served in the Office of Strategic Services -- the forerunner of the CIA -- in Ceylon and China, where she met Paul Child. After the war, the two married and moved to Paris, where Julia Child fell in love with French food. Years later, she could still recount her first meal in Paris, which included oysters, scallops in cream sauce, and duck.

After Child moved from her Cambridge, Massachusetts, house to a retirement community in California, she donated her famous kitchen -- where three of her television series were taped -- to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Child stands tall at a statuesque 6' 2".

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    1. Also Known As:
      Julia McWilliams (maiden name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1912
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pasadena, California
    1. Date of Death:
      August 12, 2004
    2. Place of Death:
      Santa Barbara, California

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One Of The Best

    A clear comprehensive cookbook by Julia Child. Presents recipes from her series. Easy to follow directions.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    Great cookbook

    This book is based on the TV cooking show Julia Childs had. The recipes are enjoyable and easy to follow. You can find most of the ingredients for the recipes at your local supermarket. Even my kids liked the food I made from this cookbook.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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