The author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking shares the essence of her life and cuisine in an irresistible feast of reminiscence and recipes that are both beautiful and delectable. Illustrated.The author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking shares the essence of her life and cuisine in an irresistible feast of reminiscence and recipes that are both beautiful and delectable. Illustrated.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1991-07-25 In 1911, seven-year-old Beck (coauthor of Mastering the Art of French Cooking ) made her first roux ; 20th-century French cooking hasn't been the same since. In this memoir cowritten with Patterson, she tells her life story both as a gourmet and as a woman. Beck begins at Rainfrevillesic , the comfortable family house where her kitchen experiments began. An unfortunate marriage at 19 in Paris led to divorce and Beck's introduction to a man sporting a ``badly tied bow tie''--Jean Fischbachersic , who would become her second husband. Following World War II, she grew interested in writing ``a valid cookbook for Americans'' about French cuisine. An editor's advice to find a collaborator resulted in her fruitful association with the wife of a U.S. government official--Julia Child. Despite the many pages devoted here to the culinary art, Beck's book is essentially the love story of ``Simca'' and Jean, and this story is less compelling than might be expected. Her recipes, however, do transcend--be it in the combination of strawberries, currants and lime juice for a timbale aux fruits rouges or the sorrel, parsley and creme fraiche for soupe a la Suraile . Perhaps it is too much to ask that the memories in Food and Friends uplift like the recipes; the recipes alone are a gift. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
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