I recently picked up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by the late and absolutely great chef Julia Child in preparation for a book I was and still am considering to write
While I’ve tried, so far, one of her recipes–the first one, in fact, for Potage Promentier (potato-leek soup)–what truly impresses me about this book is the the absolutely simple, clear and understandable English that Julia used in writing it. No wonder it became the revolutionary cookbook that changed American cooking and eating habits.
Julia Child was an American, of course, who found herself in France with her husband while he was on a diplomatic mission. She soon mastered the French language but also French cuisine, whch she shares in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Even if you have no intention of learning to cook French food, Julia’s book–at least the introduction in which she tells the story of her years in Paris–is a must read to see how beautiful simply written English can be.
Back in her day, people communicated largely by letter since phones were still too expensive and still pretty scarce. People were foced to learn how to make themselves understood in writing. It clearly shows in this masterful work.