The “grandes dames” of French cooking!

In the movie Julie and Julia, Merle Streep brilliantly portrayed Julia Child, America’s Grande Dame of French cooking. Julia single-handily brought the mysteries and delights of French cooking to American housewives in the 1960s.

 
Good friend, fabulous cook, and DolceDolce contributor Terry Milk told me recently her three daughters pride themselves on their mastery of Julia Child’s original, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
 
But it is easy to forget Julia Child’s good friend and co-author Simone BeckSimca, as she preferred to be called, was an extraordinary cook in her own right. She helped Julia enter the rarified world of gourmet cooking in post-war Paris.
 
She was born into a wealthy and refined Normandy family. From an early age Simca loved to cook. She spent hours with her family’s cook, learning the secrets of the Normandy kitchen and how to prepare the good French food her family loved. When she met her second husband — also a gourmet — she began focusing on her interest in food, wine, and cooking.
 
Food and Friends: Recipes and Memories from Simca’s Cuisine has a foreword by Julia Child, but this part-cookbook, part-memoir is all Simca. The story of her life is written in such a confiding and engaging way, it reads like a novel.
 
Julia and Simca doing early cooking demoFilled with rich details, family pictures, and a trove of tempting recipes, Food and Friends is a must-have for any dedicated student of cooking. It’s destined to become a classic. It’s also a great gift for the cooks in your life. Chances are they won’t have it; it’s so new, it just came out this month!
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