mastering the art of french cookingRemember the movie Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, partially based on Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France. In the movie Julie set herself the task of  cooking every dish from Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 originally published more than 40 years ago. Fortunately the book has recently been re-printed, with all 524 recipes.  It leaves nothing to chance, packed with sumptuous recipes, detailed instructions, and precise line drawings.  Some of the instructions look daunting, but as Julia herself says in the introduction, “If you can read, you can cook”.

The book is aimed at both the seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savoury delights of classic French  cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. This beautiful book, with more than 100 instructive illustrations, was in its time revolutionary in its approach because it:

  • leads the cook infallibly from the buying and handling of raw ingredients, through each essential step of a recipe, to the final creation of a delicate confection;
  • breaks down the classic cuisine into a logical sequence of themes and variations rather than presenting an endless and diffuse catalogue of recipes; the focus is on key recipes that form the backbone of French cookery;
  • adapts classical techniques, wherever possible, to modern  conveniences;
  • offers suggestions for just the right accompaniment to each dish, including proper wines.

Although the book has been written primarily for the American market, it is nonetheless highly informative.

Click on the links below for two delicious recipes inspired by the book:

Beef Bourguignon

Coq au Vin

Interested in buying this book? visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African on-line bookshop, they will be able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for.

Wickedfood Cooking School, Sunninghill – (011)

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.