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The French Chef Cookbook Hardcover – May, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Child's TV career began in 1963 with The French Chef on WGBH-TV in New England. The show proved very popular, and this book contains all the recipes featured in the 119 installments. The text is buttressed with photographs demonstrating cooking, cutting, and serving techniques.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Over a ten years ago I was working at a posh restaurant in New York, The China Grill as a waitress. I was told that I would have a table of fifteen in my section that night, and that they were serious foodies. Little did I expect Julia Child to be at the center of the table! I was terrified, having revered her for so many years expected her to be some sort of Olympian goddess. To my delight, she was incredibly down to earth, and extraordinarily appreciative of my service. After every plate of food and every new bottle of wine, she'd tell me how lovely everything was. At the end of the night, she told me I was lovely as well. It was one of the greatest tables of my lengthy career. Now, many years later, I'm the editor for this book. I doubt if she remembers the younger me, but I'll never forget her generosity, which she still has in abundance.
A. Scheibe, Editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307290670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307290458
  • ASIN: 030729045X
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 they 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 the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004.

(Photo credit: (C) Michael P. McLaughlin)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 194 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you aspire to French cooking, I cannot recommend "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" enough, and you DO need both volumes (the great breads are in the second volume.)
But...if you want the most often asked-for French classics like Lobster Thermidor, Cassoulet and the classic desserts to use for your elegant dinner parties, this is a BETTER choice. It is slimmed-down, modernized, has photos and is the best of the best.
So it's easy to choose; want to learn and read about French cooking, I like the Mastering series better (even better than Jacques Pepin's book.) Want a handy reference for classic dishes for occasional forays into French cuisine? Choose this one.
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90 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Patton on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this day and age, when there are so many cooking shows that they have their own channel, I remember my far-away youth, when you could choose between Graham Kerr and Julia Child and not much of anyone else . . .

Kerr was the one who always had a glass of wine at his elbow and looked as if he might invite a lucky member of his audience to a bottle party at the local wife-swapper's club. Julia Child was like the big goofy aunt who got all enthusiastic about things and transmitted that to you. Between them, I learned to love food (too much) and discovered that cooking, while undeniably work, was also a lot of fun.

And now you too can do it at home. Lots of beef in wine and sauces with cream and dry white vermouth, many onions and scallions and mushrooms. The occasional dish you're required to set on fire. And always more butter.

There are also lots of patient, common-sense instructions on such sticky subjects as folding omlettes, whipping egg whites, and, horror of horrors, making hollandaise sauce from scratch. In print, as on television, there is Child's supportive, can-do attitude--you ARE going to make mistakes along the way, but a lot of them can be corrected, and with experience, these things will become easier. Just keep doing. And follow the technical rules, which are there for a reason.

And after some effort, you can fold an omlette, the egg yolks in the hollandaise don't scramble, and you can even roll up a sponge cake. The souffles even rise. Oh, and by the way, only make POT -A-FEU if you are serving an army and have a week to cook it . . .
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a very nice cookbook. In this volume, one reviews the recipes that Julia Child featured on her TV series, "The French Chef." Not all recipes are quick and easy to create; however, the full volume provides many that can be done handily by folks in their kitchens.

Some examples of recipes that are delicious and doable:

1. Coquilles Saint-Jacques. The nice thing about this recipe is that Julia Child provides variations on the main recipe. It takes considerable preparation, but this dish, featuring scallops, is well worth it. If one prepare the variation she mentions of serving in separate dishes, one can get a very nice response from dinner guests.

2. Boeuf Bourguignon. Beef burgundy. Easy to make--but delicious to eat. And this dish can serve many people if one wishes to serve dinner for a multitude of people. The beef, cut into small pieces, becomes tender after slow cooking over time with a wine sauce. Throw in onions, mushrooms, and so on, serve with rice, potatoes, or noodles. Delicious!

3. Quenelles. A wonderful fish dish which, if done well, is exquisite! What is nice about this recipe is that it is pretty straightforward. The fish used in France is normally pike; options beyond that include halibut, flounder, cod, sole, etc. The recipe details nicely the development of the dish and its poaching. Several different serving methods are also provided.

And so on.

All in all, a nice work for different reasons: (1) It nicely summarizes the essence of a wonderful TV program by Julia Child; (2) It provides cooks with a nice set of recipes. Some of the recipes ion this book are not so simple to make at home. However, otherts are quite doable.

All in all, a worthy work to add to one's cookbook collection.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
Though you would not want to cook like this everyday, it does produce delicious food with emphasis on proper technique presented in an informal and laid back manner that is unique to Julia Child. A new forward is written by Julia Child explaning the changes in attitudes on food between the late 1960s (when the book was originally published) and the 1990s. A must for all serious about cooking. Though it lacks the in depth explanations of her other books, it is still a great resource for serious cooks. Anyone who grew up or ever watched Julia Child as the French Chef will especially love this book ( come on, you KNOW you have made the roasting hen dance to the French Chef Theme song at least ONCE before trussing it!!).
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Lizzy on December 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I came home from kindergarten every day and watched Julia while I had my cookies and milk; when this book came out my mother and I started cooking in earnest from it. Julia wrote this just for people taking the first serious plunge into the kitchen and you will need other cookbooks, but this one taught me several good things.

First, the basics of serious cooking at the age of ten.

Second, how to read instructions and follow them. I have overhauled tractor engines because Julia Child taught me basic cooking as a small child. It's a lot of the same critical thinking and ability to read an instruction manual. It's still a simple enough cook book though.

So that's where this book really shines, as a great start for novice cooks and a good reference for a lot of classic recipes. I still think it's good for the kids too. Mine are experimenting with it at ages ten and twelve. Why waste time on underpowered kiddy cookbooks when a pared down classic will do the job so much better? I still grab it for quick and easy dinner and I highly recommend it for anyone taking the first plunge into the kitchen.
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