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Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001) by Julia Child, with Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, has been a breakthrough for countless cooks in relating how to cook with genuine French flair. It takes an easy, instructive approach from ingredients all the way through to the finished dish. The results are delicious French food and well-informed home cooks.
French Classics Made Easy (Workman Publishing Company, 2011) by Richard Grausman eliminates the fluff of French cooking while retaining all the panache one comes to expect from the cuisine's most famous dishes. The budding cook is sure to appreciate the simple instructions, condensed preparation times, and reliable scrumptious results.
Barefoot in Paris (Clarkson Potter, 2004) by Ina Garten creates tempting French fare for all levels of home cooks. The Barefoot Contessa streamlines traditional French food and gives glimpses into the French kitchen that everyone can appreciate.
The Williams Sonoma Collection: French (Free Press, 2004) by Diane Rossen Worthington bounces from modernized bistro fare to comforting and rustic grand-mere cooking, providing a true-to-life slice of what one would experience if they were to visit France for a week. The food pictures alone make it worthy to hold a spot in your cookbook collection.
Around My French Table: 300 Recipes From My Home To Yours (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) by Dorie Greenspan is a cult hit with foodies. True French home cooking is the prevailing tone in this simple, easy read of a cookbook. The recipes are transformative and the results have pleased many home cooks.
The French Slow Cooker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) by Michele Scicolone provides genuine French recipes adapted for the slow cooker. This cookbook is a convenient must-have for every cook who wants to throw together a few ingredients, leave for the day, and come home to find that an effortless gourmet meal has magically appeared in front of their eyes.
The French Laundry Cookbook (Artisan, 1999) by Thomas Keller gives the reader a glimpse into just how the famous chef became so famous. His sometimes elaborate, yet never difficult techniques, while not for beginner cooks, produce amazingly good results in the kitchen.