With The Way to Cook
, Julia Child creates a second culinary classic. Her first, Mastering the Art of French Cooking
, introduced a generation of those used to preparing simple fare to what was then considered gourmet food, demystified classic techniques, and raised our culinary consciousness. In The Way to Cook
, she also demystifies cooking techniques and does some consciousness-raising. This time, though, she speaks to everyone with little or no experience in the kitchen, which is most people these days. Always in tune with the moment, and ever the gracious realist, Child (although calling her Julia seems reasonable since she treats us with such open informality) explains in The Way to Cook
how to boil an egg and stuff it, as well as how to make a perfect omelet and an elegant soufflé.
To help out readers who lack the most basic knowledge, she organizes the book by techniques rather than by ingredients. Soups are first, a relatively unintimidating choice to build confidence through delicious results such as true French Onion Soup and a contemporary Black Bean Gazpacho. Next come breads, updated to use a food processor to cut the kneading time. The fish chapter covers broiling a salmon steak and creating a sophisticated Crown Mousse of Trout. Chapters on poultry, meats, vegetables, and desserts are equally ample and wide-ranging.
When The Way to Cook was published in 1989, it accompanied a television series. A related set of videotapes, the first to teach cooking comprehensively, was offered simultaneously. However, more than 600 color photos in this book make it fully complete on its own.
The Way to Cook is a good reference volume, a useful gift, and a handsome way to follow Julia's career as she transformed from a French classicist to the ever-evolving, always clear and reliable teacher we have come to adore. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
Child's new magnum opus reminds us that she has almost single-handedly inspired the superb quality of modern larders. Without her unflagging commitment to good eating, it is doubtful that fresh duck foie gras would have been available for the saute included here. However, this wonderful book is hardly a paean to elitist fare, maintaining Child's unique perspective while reflecting attitudes about food that "have changed through these last years" and sharing much new knowledge. Recipes, divided into a master formula and variations, are grouped by technique; French classics stand fin-to-wing with American offerings (roast turkey). Dietary concerns are addressed with low-fat soups and a cottage cheese-enriched chicken liver mousse. Nevertheless, the author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, who would "rather swoon over . . . one small serving of chocolate mousse . . . than indulge one . . . fat-free gelatin puddings," has not gone light. Six hundred handsome photographs underscore Child's technical genius. 110,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.