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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 as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher's Weekly 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 eminence 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'Universite ("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 Appetit. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Based on letters and memories, this is Julia Child's memoir of her years in France--not just the years she and her husband, Paul, lived there full time, but also the later years when they kept a second home there. Her nephew Alex Prud'homme wrote the text but Julia edited most of it before her death. Her love of France, French people, and French food comes through very clearly, as well as her lack of interest in English food and her liking for Italian food. Her love of cooking and of developing reliable recipes to share her love of these cuisines is also very clear. This is not a scholarly work but a chat with Julia as she describes scenes and experiences, mostly the pleasant ones that she remembered with joy. This book is really about the years in France from Julia's point of view, with little critical appraisal. It will complement Noel Riley Fitch's Appetite for Life (CH, May'98, 35-5037), a scholarly biography that gives a more detailed and critical review of some of the events depicted here. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels. N. Duran Texas A&M University