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The Way to Cook Paperback – September 28, 1993


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The Way to Cook + Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking + Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; Reprint edition (September 28, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679747656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679747659
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 152 customer reviews
The instructions are easy to follow and there are beautiful pictures.
Bean
Julia Child's "The Way to Cook" is one of the essential cookbooks every kitchen should have.
Marc Pottier
This is a teaching book that will explain "why" and "how" a good cook should do certain things.
Justin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 253 people found the following review helpful By Marc Pottier on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Julia Child's "The Way to Cook" is one of the essential cookbooks every kitchen should have. Julia's straight forward instructions, her outstanding recipes and the quality of the dishes she recommends make this and fantastic cookbook.
While Julia covers a wide range of dishes in this book (Soups, Breads, Eggs, Fish, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Salads, Pastry, Desserts, and Cakes & Cookies) her emphasis is definitely on French/European cooking. If you are looking for recipes from different ethnic groups, you will need to find other cookbooks to compliment this one.
In the last five years that I've owned this cookbook, I've made a wide selection of recipes and have never been disappointed. From simple dishes such as crepes to complex day-long affairs such as Lamb Stew Printaniere, her instructions have been complete, straightforward, and detailed. If you follow her steps, you're guaranteed to have incredible results.
The book includes both beautiful and useful photographs. This is important, because one of the big drawbacks with most cookbooks are that they have incredible imagery of the finished dish, but don't actually show you how things should look as they are being prepared. The way to cook does an excellent job at showing you both... which is one of the reasons it is such an outstanding book.
Julia's other books are also excellent. Both "Baking with Julia" and "In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs" are outstanding.
One last word of advice... if you ever make A Fast Saute of Beef for Two from this book, use heavy creame instead of cornstarch (she says you can use either). The cream will make the difference between a good meal and a great one!
Enjoy!
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227 of 234 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The Way to Cook' was written by Julia Child and published by Knopf about 27 years after the first publication of `Mastering the Art of French Cooking' which established Child's reputation. So, it was published when Julia Child was a household name for over two decades. It was meant to be her most important culinary work. It has never replaced Child's first book in the hearts and minds of America's foodies, in spite of the fact that the book opens with a statement that the book means to address Americans' new health consciousness and their diminishing time available to cook.
This is still a very, very good book. Unlike the more famous `French Cooking', this book is much more concerned with teaching the art of cooking. In fact, Ms. Child originates an idea here that has reached its fullest fruition in the style of Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meal rubric. Ray succeeds in putting out fast meals not by using a lot of processed supermarket preparations, but by using knowledge of cooking to make the best of basic ingredients. This is not to say Ms. Child is doing fast cooking. Many recipes are pretty involved. I can still remember doing Julia's take on a barbecue recipe which involved making both a sauce and a rub from a goodly number of ingredients and a substantial amount of time required to slow cook the ribs. I got pretty hungary by the time I was finally finished.
Teaching is so important to the object of this book that it is one of the very few books I know which could easily serve as a good textbook for a course on cooking. The only other book I know in this category would be Madeline Kammen's `The New Making of a Cook'.
Read more ›
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111 of 114 people found the following review helpful By A. Henning on December 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I got this cookbook as a Christmas gift four years ago after taking cooking seriously for four years. The knowledge Child imparts took me to another level of understanding good food and good cooking.
I don't consider myself a gourmet. I am a good home cook who appreciates delicious, hearty food and I gravitate towards these types of dishes and chefs. By the time I read The Way to Cook, I'd already owned and read three or four cookbooks (all from the Silver Palate ladies) and I didn't learn about the process and intellectual thought of cooking until Child. Wow. She truly brings everything to its most basic point and then, tell you how to treat the food. Additionally, the book is organized well; written in a straightforward manner; and the recipes are simple to follow and delicious to eat.
True, this is more continental than it is American, but I think if you could only have two or three cookbooks, this would be one of them. The others would be Cook's Bible and Joy of Cooking (new ed).
One warning, like most cookbooks, the food is rich, so if you're on a diet, eat breakfast, make this for lunch or an early dinner and don't eat anything the rest of the day!
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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By David J. Huber VINE VOICE on June 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when it was first published (and it cost me almost 10 hours of wages), and of all the cookbooks I own (maybe 40 or so), this is the one I use the most. Even when I moved to Hawaii for a short-term internship, I used precious luggage and weight restriction space to take this heavy book with me. Why? Not just because it has great recipes, but because it is just what the title says - a book about how to cook (at least, how to cook Northern European). I don't go to it very often for specific recipes (although her French Onion Soup is fantastic), but to see how to do something in general - like, how to make a cream sauce, how to make a chowder base, how to clean mussels, how to clean fowl, etc. If you master this book, you will have mastered the theory of (Northern European) cooking, and will no longer be tied down trying exactly to reproduce a recipe in one of countless thousands of generic cookbooks. You will have courage to experiment, because you'll know what the ingredients are doing and how to handle them - you will, in fact, become your own recipe inventor and creative, tasteful, confident cook that you and your family (and friends!) will appreciate. This is, really, the proper model for what cookbooks should be, and I wish someone would do something similar for other cuisines (and if they have, send me an email about it!).
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