by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck
Illustrations by Sidonie Coryn
Knopf -- First published 1961
Buy it on Amazon
Julia would not have been our "French Chef," had she not collaborated with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle to transform their draft of a French cookbook into an essential guidebook to French food for American cooks.
Long before she showed television audiences that it was OK to screw up in the kitchen, Julia Child and the two other "Trois Gourmands" (Child, Beck and Bertholle ran a cooking school of sorts -- Ecole des Gourmands -- in Paris) were teaching the American cook the wonders that are beurre blanc, boeuf bourguignon and omelettes through "Mastering the Art."
"This is a book for the servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules, children's meals, the parent-chauffeur-den-mother syndrome or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat." With those words, Child inspired bloggers and chefs and turned French cuisine into something our nation's home cooks could do ... and well. Bon appetit!
See what we tested and find out whether the book's worth buying after the jump.