What if Julia Child had never introduced the American public to French cooking? Would the entire menu of a typical home today consist of frozen TV dinners and leftover casseroles? Would the culinary revolution of 1970?s have ever occurred? Perhaps this bleak picture is a bit heavy to lay on the shoulders of one person. Without a doubt, however, Julia Child has had an enormous affect on how Americans eat.
It all started in 1961 with the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Child, along with co-authors Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, attempted to show Americans how to make authentic French dishes in American kitchens using American foods, quite a feat coming out of the culinary wastelands of the 1950?s. This cookbook, along with Child?s cooking program The French Chef (1963), succeeded in this endeavor and would change forever how Americans ate.
If you pulled Mastering the Art of French Cooking off the shelf of your local bookshop, you would probably never realize that it was written over 40 years ago. The language is clear and engaging and the recipes reflect those of any modern French cookbook. As a cookbook it seems common today among so many others. It is, in fact, quite extraordinary because it was the first of its kind and had such a huge impact on America?s culinary future.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking is still a useful book to have. It provides a very good base for understanding French cooking, or for that matter, basic cooking skills.
Julia Child had a miraculous way of communicating that made even the most complex of tasks seem achievable.
Although Julia Child passed away in 2004, her contributions to culinary history and humanity in general will never be forgotten.