When I was a wee preschooler, my morning TV schedule ran from Sesame Street to Mr. Rogers, and then to Julia Child’s cooking show, The French Chef, which helped plant the seed that influenced my interest in cooking. Why do I mention this bit of minutiae? Well, it so happens that today is famed chef Julia Child’s 101st birthday, and to celebrate, Random House Digital, Inc. slashed the price of their iOS app Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes from $4.99 to $1.99 from August 15 through August 18!
Based on Child’s acclaimed book Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume I) that was first published in 1961, Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes for iOS features 32 recipes from the book along with beautifully photographed images of each finished recipe.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes includes one of my favorite recipes, Boeuf Bourguignon. I once hosted a dinner party for some of my wife’s friends and watched Julia’s original video while making it, and it was superb right out of my very French Le Creuset pot. My efforts would have been considerably aided by this app in the kitchen as it was a bit of a trick starting the dvd, watching a bit, pausing, running back to the kitchen while consulting a bit of the printed recipe, cooking a bit, running back out and repeating. Nevertheless it was good fun and gave me an excuse to sport a bow tie and smoking jacket. It was like having Julia there in the kitchen with me, or at least the living room, like something out of the movie Julia & Julia. The beauty of Child is that she never really minced words, and her televised cooking lessons happened just like they would in your kitchen—no mulligans for her. She made cooking real and never tried to whitewash what could often be some real work in preparing a dish.
In swiping through Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes, there are buttons within the recipe page for ingredients, tools (a small, but very helpful and well-thought inclusion), a recipe intro, dish variations, and additional info with cooking tips and suggestions. More or less everything a budding or even an experienced cook might need to successfully prepare delicious dishes.
Each recipe has an audio sample of Julia Child pronouncing the dish, so you won’t need to bone up on your Français, plus video excerpts from Julia’s ‘The Way to Cook’ series for each recipe, a section on Resources featuring temperature conversion tables, knife skills, cooking terms to name a few. Also included are excerpts from the Anniversary Edition of Child’s cookbook. Plus, for those who crave using tech while shopping, there are editable grocery lists that can automatically import a list of ingredients for each recipe.
Finally, there is a section devoted to Julia Child’s life, with pictures of her as a tyke, Julia in the OSS in WWII, the progenitor of the CIA (she was too tall to be in the Women’s Army Corps (!)), her time in France, her TV shows, and more.
For those who love to cook and enjoy Julia Child’s books and videos, Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes might be a useful and entertaining tool to explore the realm of French Cooking. At $1.99 it’s a steal! Get yours here, and start enjoying some home-cooked French cuisine!