Featured Title

Mastering the Art of French Cooking:
40th Anniversary Edition


More Books by this Author

Julia's Kitchen Wisdom


Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home


In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs


Cooking with Master Chefs


The Way to Cook


Way to Cook Fish and Eggs


Way to Cook Poultry


Way to Cook Soups, Salads and Bread


Way to Cook Vegetables


Writer's Recommendations



About the Author Excerpt Recipes Praise Making The Book
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"Probably the most comprehensive, laudable, and monumental work on [French cuisine] was published this week, and it will probably remain as the definitive work for nonprofessionals . . . [It is] a masterpiece."
Craig Claiborne's review in the New York Times when Mastering the Art of French Cooking was first published on October 16, 1961

"I only wish that I had written it myself."
--James Beard


"Julia Child paved the way for Chez Panisse and so many others by demystifying French food and by reconnecting pleasure and delight with cooking and eating at the table. She brought forth a culture of American ingredients and gave us all the confidence to cook with them in the pursuit of flavor."
--Alice Waters, Chez Panisse

"It's hard to believe that forty years have passed since wonderful Julia freed the American public from their fears of cooking French. By doing so, she greatly expanded the audience for all serious food writers. Her demystification prepared that public for the rest of us. I believe that the television shows based on that landmark book did even more to encourage reluctant cooks to try their hands . . . much to our benefit."
--Mimi Sheraton

"Julia Child was the opposite of the mid-western, mid-American, mid-century, middlebrow food I grew up on. She was also the antithesis of the women I saw cooking, all of whom had serious June Lockhart aspirations. Julia, on the other hand, turned imperfection into a hoot and a holler. She seemed to teach cooking, but she was really celebrating the human, with all its flaws and appetites. I was a goner the first time I heard her voice, which happened to be while I was a cook in a feminist restaurant that served nonviolent cuisine. If it weren't for Julia Child, I might never have moved past brown rice and tofu. Worse, I might still be afraid of being less than perfect. Cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I learned how to cook without fear because I got over fearing failure. Julia Child gave an entire generation this gift--and dinner, too."
--Molly O'Neill

"The more I have come to know Julia over the years, the more I realize that Julia, the friend, the author, the TV superstar, are one and the same. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was one of the most influential books in twentieth-century America. It was the book, more than any other, that, combined with her television shows, taught Americans how to cook simple and not-so-simple classic French dishes. Like Julia herself, the book is a classic, a catalyst in the refinement of American culture. My own copy of Volume One (a 1975 edition) is so worn that the duct tape holding it together looks natural. Although this book wasn't intended for professionals, I knew a few young American chefs who, like me, referred to it often because Julia was a trusted secret mentor, and her recipes were clear-cut and dependable. They still are."
--Jasper White, Summer Shack

"The recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking are classics--dishes that taste so good because the ingredients work together with no need for gimmicks. Julia's opening sentence in the foreword to the '83 edition couldn't be more true: 'This is a book for the American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules . . . or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of something wonderful to eat [emphasis mine].'

I remember the excitement and pride I felt when I first served Julia's Veal Orloff. The Soubise, on its own, that glorious mixture of melting onion and rice, has never left my repertoire. But mostly my old Volume One wears its badge of use with all those errant chocolate fingerprints wandering across its torn cover as I make Julia's Le Marquis or Soufflé au Chocolat.

This book will teach you to cook, show you How and tell you Why!"
--Lydia Shire, Biba

"I remember it was in the early 1970s when I first began to pour through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was in heaven. All this technique that I knew nothing about all laid out in English! It was all very meticulous and the descriptions were so detailed and that's just what I needed because I had no experience as a cook. I told my mother what I was reading and she said, 'Oh that crazy woman? She's way too complicated for me and the way I cook.' I never listened much to my mother back then and just kept on reading. Today, JULIA, as I call it, remains the book I turn to when I need to know how to do something."
--Gordon Hamersley, Hamersley's Bistro

"Long before there was a TV Food Network or Celebrity Chefs, there was Julia Child. The first cookbook my mother purchased for our home was Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was this book, along with Julia's first television series and her obvious joy for cooking, that helped influence me to enter the culinary field. Always warm and gracious, still working hard sharing her knowledge and love of life, Julia continues to be an inspiration to all who are privileged to know her and choose to be part of this profession. She is and will always be the 'Grand Lady of Cooking.' Thank you, Julia, for your encouragement and friendship."
--David Cecchini, Wine Cask

"Mastering the Art of French Cooking was one of my first introductions to my foundation of understanding the art of French cooking. The combination of reading Julia's book, working in the kitchen, and watching her television shows helped lead me to my beginnings in serious cuisine. Julia is a dear friend and a great cook--the grande dame of cooking, who has touched all of our lives with her immense respect and appreciation of cuisine."
--Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's Restaurant

"Julia has slowly but surely altered our way of thinking about food.

She has taken the fear out of the term 'haute cuisine.' She has increased gastronomic awareness a thousandfold by stressing the importance of good foundation and technique, and she has elevated our consciousness to the refined pleasures of dining. Through the years her shows have kept me in rapt attention, and her humor has kept me in stitches.

She is a national treasure, a culinary trendsetter, and a born educator beloved by all."
--Thomas Keller, The French Laundry

"1961 was the year that gave us three important and enjoyable events:

  • Picasso painted his Still Life with a Lamp;
  • Breakfast at Tiffanys had its premier with Audrey Hepburn;
  • Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published by Knopf, starring our very own Julia Child.
Trying to avoid the current fashion for exaggeration, let me just say that this volume not only clarified what real French food is, but simply taught us to cook."
--George Lang, Café des Artistes

"1961 a.d. Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking is published. Her black-and-white TV show on WGBH in Boston soon follows. Child is one of the great teachers of the millennium: She is intelligent and charismatic, and her undistinguished manual skills are not daunting to her viewers. An entire generation of ambitious American home cooks is instantly born."
--Jeffrey Steingarten, conferring the Vogue Millennial Food and Drink Awards on "those events and persons who have most advanced the joys and beauties of mealtime over the previous thousand years"