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177 of 181 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The essentials of classic French cooking, but not mastery
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...
Published on February 19, 2001 by Joanna Daneman

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars False Advertising, Incomplete Collection
The blurb on the book says it contains "All the recipes that Julia Child demonstrated on her first public television series - The French Chef." There were several recipes I saw her cook in this series (currently being rebroadcast on the Cooking Channel) which I was excited to try. NONE of them are in this book. I suspect there is at least one whole season, possibly more,...
Published on January 5, 2012 by K. Sward


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177 of 181 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The essentials of classic French cooking, but not mastery, February 19, 2001
This review is from: French Chef Cookbook (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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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Too Can Fold An Omlette, February 25, 2006
By 
Matthew Patton (Deltona, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: French Chef Cookbook (Paperback)
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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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book to use when you want to splurge., November 29, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: French Chef Cookbook (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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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the PBS series to the reader. . . ., January 7, 2007
By 
Steven A. Peterson (Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL)) - See all my reviews
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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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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic beginners textbook, December 26, 2005
By 
Lizzy (New Orleans, LA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The French Chef Cookbook (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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great way to expand your cooking "skill set"!, January 28, 2007
By 
Melody (Alexandria, VA USA) - See all my reviews
I like to cook when I have the time or entertaining gives me the venue for it, but I had never tried many French or French-inspired dishes. A self-professed "foodie", I knew Julia Child was worth having a look at and for $6, it couldn't hurt! So far I have been impressed with the dishes I've made not only in the quality in flavor and taste, but at how EASY they are to make. Americans don't make sauces as much as the Europeans do and I was eager to learn a few - Julia's sauces were delicious, easy and I will certainly be making them more often. The directions are easy to follow and will certainly help the "beginner cook". The reason for my 4-star rating was because it would have been nice to have the glossy pictures common in cookbooks today, but this cookbook is certainly a classic and a good one to have in your collection. Highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the French Chef fans, December 5, 2008
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This review is from: The French Chef Cookbook (Paperback)
You need this book if you are a fan of the French Chef TV show
The book is a collection of all recipes from the French Chef, it is a great help if you want to cook any dish from that show. The recipes are very precise and follow the the TV recipes exactly. No inconsistencies.
If you purchase this book and want to cook something French but you do not have the French Show dvds, I recommend to purchase them, since many details (how to eval the quality of materials, how to mix, cook etc) are omitted from the book or are hardly understood from the book without video guidance
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardly her greatest, but still worth the price, March 12, 2003
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This review is from: French Chef Cookbook (Paperback)
In the beginning, there was Mastering the Art of French Cooking, where Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louise Bertholle got together and made the art of Escoffier accessible to the average home cook. Somebody got Julia to do a couple of TV specials demonstrating her recipes, and this turned into one of WGBH-Boston's first great public television productions, The French Chef. This book is the record of the first few seasons of one of the world's first cooking shows.
It's not a great cookbook -- Julia has written three or four of those -- but if nothing else it's an archaeological gem of the culinary world. Organized not by recipe category but by episode, what we have here is a sort of reconstruction of a studio notebook on how to create a cooking show. An introduction describes the process of putting the show together, an occasionally-harrowing story of borrowed kitchens, technical challenges, and accidental stardom, while the recipes (first thirteen shows long since missing, sadly) give not just instructions but themes, even menus, the way Julia and her staff concieved them.
Yes, there are many good recipes in here, but that's not the main reason to buy this book. This book interested me because I'm putting together a cooking show of my own, and buying it just before taping my first episode served as inspiration and even a bit of a how-to book on the oddities of mixing TV production and food. Julia has written many books since, and much of what's in here can be found in more effective form in those books, but this is one of the few TV cookbooks I've seen that is truly a record of a cooking show, as opposed to a cookbook that happened to be written by the host of a show. For the price, it's certainly a worthwhile purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, September 9, 2009
By 
Victoria Fassano "Food Nerd" (Fremont, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Like many I was inspired to make some of Julia's dishes after seeing Julie & Julia. I was unwilling to spend the bucks on Mastering the Art of French Cooking since I was unsure how many times I might actually put it to use but assumed that Julia had hit all the major highlights and "star" French recipes on her show. Also, mainly I was most interested in the Boeuf a la Bourginonne recipe, since during the movie my husband leaned over to me and whispered in my ear "Can you make that?" Can I make that? You bet your boots I can!
I am a foodie and a sucker for technique as a few additional steps are often welcomed and normally speak to the overall quality of the item. When I got this little tome in my hands I quickly leafed through it & set it down. There is nothing glamorous about this little yellowed paperback except that every recipe I have made from it so far is perfection. My first foray was a few quiche for a brunch I was hosting. All I can say is trust Julia & these recipes! I prepared two of the three quiche recipes and they were magnificent. Flaky crust,not overcooked or gummy,delectible fillings - and the silkiest most custardy fillings rather than the firmer more rubbery egg concotion we've all seen too many times these days. Only three eggs in the whole quiche? A cup and a half of cream?? Top it all off with butter??? Just follow the recipe, Julia has perfected it for you. My next receipe of choice was to make the Daube since I got a good deal on a blade steak roast at the market and it is a good braising cut. Again a delicous meat was shared by all. I can honestly say I am sure I will faithfully turn to this book more often than I expected and know that I will wind up with something remarkable & delicious every time.
Bon appetit!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old friend re-issued, October 4, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: French Chef Cookbook (Paperback)
My 30-something son stole my old, old hardcover edition so-o-o I bought a mass market paperback since I couldn't be without it. Now the trade paperback is out and much easier to handle in the kitchen. I've just transferred the notes made in my original copy. Obviously I highly prize this title just as I prize all of Julia Child's EARLY books, i.e. "Mastering the Art ...", Vols. I & II and "From Julia's Kitchen".
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The French Chef Cookbook
The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child (Paperback - August 6, 2002)
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