The Way To Cook

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The Way To Cook
1989 The Way To Cook hardcover
Created byJulia Child
Print publications
Book(s)The Way To Cook
Films and television
Direct-to-videoThe Way To Cook
SubjectCulinary arts
The Way To Cook
AuthorJulia Child
CountryUnited States
SubjectCulinary arts
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf
Publication date
1989 (hardcover)
Media typebook
ISBN0-394-53264-3 (hardcover)
641.5 19
LC ClassTX651 .C53 1989
Preceded byJulia Child & More Company 
Followed byCooking with Master Chefs 
The Way To Cook
GenreNon-fiction, instructional video
Created byJulia Child
Written byJulia Child
Directed byRussell Morash
Original language(s)English
Running time6 hours
Production company(s)Knopf
Picture format6 VHS cassettes, NTSC (480i)
Original release1989 (1989)

The Way To Cook (1989, Knopf) is a cookbook and series of instructional videos written by the television personality and cooking teacher Julia Child; Child saw it as her magnum opus and considered it the culmination of her career as a cooking teacher. The book was published by Knopf, the firm that published almost all of Child's work from the beginning to the end of her career. The video series was produced with and marketed by the WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston but was shot at Child's home in Santa Barbara, California.

The Way To Cook differs from Mastering the Art of French Cooking in numerous ways. While Mastering was a collaboration that co-authors Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle had gotten underway before Child's involvement, The Way To Cook was a solo work written entirely by Child during the late 1980s. Another difference was that The Way To Cook did not focus entirely on French cuisine, on which her reputation had been built, but added a substantial number of recipes for traditional American dishes, especially those of New England, where Child's mother had come from and where Child had spent much of her life. In this, the book reflected the diversification of the cooking repertoire on Child's television show, Julia Child & Company, that had taken place since its premiere in 1978.

The book also formally described an approach to teaching that Child and others had been using since the very beginning, providing a more explicit focus on "master recipes"—that is, recipes that illustrate broad principles in cooking—with other recipes provided as variations on those same themes. The book also made greater use of improved cookware designs and of new technology such as the food processor, of which Child was a major proponent. The 1983 revision of Mastering was inspired in large part by the introduction of the food processor into the market.

The book immediately proved to be extremely popular, with four printings in the first month after its introduction;[1] it remains in print nearly two decades later, in both hardcover and softcover editions. In December 2009, the videos, originally available only as a set of six videotapes, were re-released as a set of two DVDs.


  1. ^ Masthead of a copy from the fourth printing, dated November 1989