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My Life in France (Movie Tie-In Edition) Mass Market Paperback – June 23, 2009
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100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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Julia Child single handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn't know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.
Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia's unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.
Julie & Julia is now a major motion picture (releasing in August 2009) starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child. It is partially based on her memoir, My Life in France. Enjoy these images from the film, and click the thumbnails to see larger images.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. With Julia Child's death in 2004 at age 91, her grandnephew Prud'homme (The Cell Game) completed this playful memoir of the famous chef's first, formative sojourn in France with her new husband, Paul Child, in 1949. The couple met during WWII in Ceylon, working for the OSS, and soon after moved to Paris, where Paul worked for the U.S. Information Service. Child describes herself as a "rather loud and unserious Californian," 36, six-foot-two and without a word of French, while Paul was 10 years older, an urbane, well-traveled Bostonian. Startled to find the French amenable and the food delicious, Child enrolled at the Cordon Bleu and toiled with increasing zeal under the rigorous tutelage of éminence grise Chef Bugnard. "Jackdaw Julie," as Paul called her, collected every manner of culinary tool and perfected the recipes in her little kitchen on rue de l'Université ("Roo de Loo"). She went on to start an informal school with sister gourmandes Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, who were already at work on a French cookbook for American readers, although it took Child's know-how to transform the tome—after nine years, many title changes and three publishers—into the bestselling Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). This is a valuable record of gorgeous meals in bygone Parisian restaurants, and the secret arts of a culinary genius. Photos. First serial in the New York Times Magazine and Bon Appétit. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In an age when chefs seem to have *always* been cooking, even as kids, with a love of food and and instinct for the kitchen from infancy, this book will make you believe that you too, may be able to attain the same.
You see, Julia Child - the great Julia herself - didn't really learn to cook until she was in her 30s.
It's a story about serendipity, about how Julia found herself in the right place, at the right time, with the right person (and later, people) to push her and support her. You realize, as you go through this book, that it is ultimately the story about how Julia Child became Julia Child.
It's about how Finding Yourself is a journey, not an event. It's about how your purpose in life may take many years to really come to fruition. It's about having the time of your life, with the Love of your Life. It's about having wine with lunch (shocking I know! - sarcasm alert), post-War France, and some heavenly food. With a touch of bureaucratic politics, singing fish, and a mention of the loathsome Roy Cohn.
Buy this book now!
Julia Child was a marvelous woman. She exhibits grace, passion, compassion, goodness, and her long marriage to Paul Child was a true love story. They were totally devoted to each other, and after he retired, he wrote poetry about her, just adoring her. I am in love with them both.
This book was actually written by her great-nephew. He tries hard to convey Julia Child's sentiments, and for the most part, he succeeds. It does feel as if Julia Child is actually writing the book. It is clear that Alex Prud'homme loved and respected his great-aunt, and the book does a magnificent job of conveying Julia Child's personality. Julia Child was a staunch democrat, often at odds with her father, and her love of food comes off so clear. I just wish it was written in her own words.
I also wish there was more about food. Because this is about Julia Child's experiences, you don't get how things tasted. Foods are magnificent or great, but there is no comparison, and I just wish the book was more intimate with the meals she savored. You read about her favorites, and how certain foods were prepared, and you know sole meuniere was the dish that awoke Julia Child's palate and passion, but you still don't grasp the essence.
After reading the book, I was most impressed with Julia Child's professionalism and her integrity. Success did not come overnight, but she was eager to learn, and she practiced and practiced. Recipes in her books went through a very rigorous trial, so they were almost fool-proof, and she was all about technique. Her integrity was astonishing.
Julia Child is a phenom, but she never boasts, always kind and comforting, and it is clear she is a very special person.
I just wish she was able to contribute more to the book.