Julia Child, a native of California and a Smith College graduate; Simone Beck, French-born and -educated; and Louisette Bertholle, half French and half American, educated in both countries, represented an even blending of the two backgrounds and were singularly equipped to write about French cooking for Americans. Mrs. Child studied at Paris’s famous Cordon Bleu, and all three authors worked under various distinguished French chefs. In 1951 they started their own cooking school in Paris, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, at the same time that this book was taking shape. After that, Madame Beck published two cookbooks, Simca’s Cuisine in 1972 and New Menus from Simca’s Cuisine in 1979, and she continued to teach cooking in France. Madame Bertholle also had several cookery books published. Shortly after the appearance of Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961, Julia Child began appearing in the public television series The French Chef, which aired for many years all over the United States, and in 1978 the program Julia Child & Company was launched, followed the next year by Julia Child & More Company. In 1968 recipes from her early programs, many of which were drawn from this book, were published in The French Chef Cookbook.
In 1975 From Julia Child’s Kitchen was published, followed in 1978 and 1979 by Julia Child & Company and Julia Child & More Company, based on those programs. Also based on television series were the two books—Cooking with Master Chefs and In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs—she wrote in the mid-1990s, as well as Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, with Jacques Pépin, in 1999. The Way to Cook, her magnum opus, was published in 1989, and in 2000 she gave us Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, a distillation of her years of cooking experience.
"Has it really been 40 years since Julia Child rescued Americans from dreary casseroles? This reissue, clad in a handsome red jacket, is what a cookbook should be: packed with sumptuous recipes, detailed instructions, and precise line drawings. Some of the instructions look daunting, but as Child herself says in the introduction, 'If you can read, you can cook.'"
- Entertainment Weekly