counter create hit The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food

Availability: Ready to download

From the legendary editor who helped shape modern cookbook publishing--one of the food world's most admired figures--an evocative and inspiring memoir. Living in Paris after World War II, Judith Jones broke free of the bland American food she had been raised on and reveled in everyday French culinary delights. On returning to the States--hoping to bring some "joie de cuisi From the legendary editor who helped shape modern cookbook publishing--one of the food world's most admired figures--an evocative and inspiring memoir. Living in Paris after World War II, Judith Jones broke free of the bland American food she had been raised on and reveled in everyday French culinary delights. On returning to the States--hoping to bring some "joie de cuisine" to America--she published Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking. "The rest is publishing and gastronomic history. A new world now opened up to Jones: discovering, with her husband, Evan, the delights of "American" food; working with the tireless Julia; absorbing the wisdom of James Beard; understanding food as memory through the writings of Claudia Roden and Madhur Jaffrey; demystifying the techniques of Chinese cookery with Irene Kuo; absorbing the Italian way through the warmth of Lidia Bastianich; and working with Edna Lewis, Marion Cunningham, Joan Nathan, and other groundbreaking cooks. Jones considers matters of taste (can it be acquired?). She discusses the vagaries of vegetable gardening in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the joys of foraging in the woods and meadows. And she writes about M.F.K. Fisher: as mentor, friend, and the source of luminous insight into the arts of eating, living, and aging. Embellished with fifty recipes--each with its own story and special tips--this is an absolutely charming memoir by a woman who was present at the creation of the American food revolution and played a seminal role in shaping it.


Compare
Ads Banner

From the legendary editor who helped shape modern cookbook publishing--one of the food world's most admired figures--an evocative and inspiring memoir. Living in Paris after World War II, Judith Jones broke free of the bland American food she had been raised on and reveled in everyday French culinary delights. On returning to the States--hoping to bring some "joie de cuisi From the legendary editor who helped shape modern cookbook publishing--one of the food world's most admired figures--an evocative and inspiring memoir. Living in Paris after World War II, Judith Jones broke free of the bland American food she had been raised on and reveled in everyday French culinary delights. On returning to the States--hoping to bring some "joie de cuisine" to America--she published Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking. "The rest is publishing and gastronomic history. A new world now opened up to Jones: discovering, with her husband, Evan, the delights of "American" food; working with the tireless Julia; absorbing the wisdom of James Beard; understanding food as memory through the writings of Claudia Roden and Madhur Jaffrey; demystifying the techniques of Chinese cookery with Irene Kuo; absorbing the Italian way through the warmth of Lidia Bastianich; and working with Edna Lewis, Marion Cunningham, Joan Nathan, and other groundbreaking cooks. Jones considers matters of taste (can it be acquired?). She discusses the vagaries of vegetable gardening in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the joys of foraging in the woods and meadows. And she writes about M.F.K. Fisher: as mentor, friend, and the source of luminous insight into the arts of eating, living, and aging. Embellished with fifty recipes--each with its own story and special tips--this is an absolutely charming memoir by a woman who was present at the creation of the American food revolution and played a seminal role in shaping it.

30 review for The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    One of my roles in the group Retro Chapter Chicks here on goodreads is to promote the Remarkable Woman of the Month. For Women’s History Month, I have taken this a step further by featuring the Remarkable Woman of the Week. Last week in my research, I was lead to Judith Jones, a longtime editor for Knopf Books, who was born on March 10, 1924. As a woman who rose to senior editor at a major publishing house during an era when women were content to lead lives as housewives, I was intrigued to find One of my roles in the group Retro Chapter Chicks here on goodreads is to promote the Remarkable Woman of the Month. For Women’s History Month, I have taken this a step further by featuring the Remarkable Woman of the Week. Last week in my research, I was lead to Judith Jones, a longtime editor for Knopf Books, who was born on March 10, 1924. As a woman who rose to senior editor at a major publishing house during an era when women were content to lead lives as housewives, I was intrigued to find out more about this fascinating lady. The fact that she found time to write her own books added to my level of intrigue, which is how I came to include Jones’ The Tenth Muse: My Life In Food as part of my Women’s History Month (2019) lineup. Judith Jones nee Bailey was born on March 10, 1924 to Charles and Helen Bailey of New York City. From an early age, young Judy enjoyed eating and trying different foods, leading a loving aunt to note that she would be the plump one in the family. With Charles being from French descent and Helen having Welsh roots, Judith was exposed to a variety of foods during an era when American gastronomy was at an all time low. Even as a child of the depression, the Bailey family employed a housekeeper Edie who exposed the children to homemade spaghetti and cheese, leading Judith to a lifetime disdain of boxed macaroni and cheese. Judith’s father noted that of his daughters, Judith was willing to try the most new foods and took her weekly to French restaurants, leading to a lifetime of enjoyment of being a French food connoisseur. Upon her graduation from Bennington College, Judith landed a job as an editor at Doubleday Books but chose to travel to Paris in search of the perfect, authentic French cuisine. It was a decision that changed her life course. During the post war years, Rosie the Riveters returned home as men reclaimed their jobs after serving their country in World War II. With the advent of frozen dinners and prepared food, American housewives of the baby boom era were wed to easy meals that eased their lives as mothers to growing families. Cooking simple foods as hamburgers and fries or spaghetti and meat sauce with little flavor added, most American women were content with their station, which included preparing bland foods. While in France, Judith Bailey discovered foods flavored with garlic, capers, tarragon, and other regional and seasonal herbs and spices. Paired with the correct wine and foods would explode on the palette, creating memorable meals. Bailey did not want to return from Paris to a United States where job prospects were limited. Then she met Evan Jones, who was to be her life partner of fifty years. The couple shared a love of food, both preparing meals from scratch, trying new ethnicities, and writing about their findings. It was a match made in food heaven. Neither Judith or Evan Jones had any job prospects in America as of yet, but the Baileys desired that their daughter return from Paris. While employed by Doubleday, Judith rescued Anne Frank: A Diary Of a Young Girl from the rejection table, catching the eyes of publishing companies who noted her critical eye for editing. After submitting magazine articles for publication, in 1957 Judith landed a job at Knopf Books as an assistant to Blanche Knopf. Her role was primarily translating French authors such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, yet her career trajectory changed when Alfred Knopf asked her to be the lead editor for a cookbook written by an unknown named Julia Child. Judith saw with the 1960s approaching that Americans were ready to try new cuisines and jumped on the challenge to introduce French foods to the American palette. Child’s The Art Of French Cooking jumpstarted her career, one that Jones did not predict as being as popular as it was. This cookbook also lead Jones from translating French authors to being primarily a cookbook editor and author. During her career as an editor, Jones was determined to pinpoint American regional cuisine and expose Americans to different foods in order to expand their palettes. She introduced home cooks to renown chefs as Claudia Roden, Irene Kuo, Lidia Bastainich, and Edna Lewis. Despite most famous chefs being men, Jones believed that most of the best cooking came from the home and preparing family meals. By collaborating with these women on cookbooks that featured their ethnic cuisine, Jones made a variety of foods accessible to home cooks. As the amount of ingredients on shelves increased to reflect the increased diversity of the American population, Jones noted in her own writing that there was no excuse for Americans to only eat the same bland foods. By trying new foods, they would expand their palettes, changing the genetic makeup for the next generations. After a lifetime of cooking and eating, Jones herself became predisposed to enjoy Chinese, Greek, and American Southern foods in edition to her family’s French and Welsh roots. These are reflected in the recipe section that she provides for readers at the back of the book. Reading through these diverse recipes, it is clear that over a career that Jones’ collaborated with a myriad of authors to make many foods accessible to the average cook. Splitting time between Vermont, New York City, and Paris, Judith Jones also promoted seasonal, regional cooking. She enjoyed foraging for mushrooms, tapping fresh maple syrup, and eating the produce bounty of the season. Lifetime friendships with renown chefs as Julia Child and James Beard exposed Jones to a myriad of cooking techniques that she in turn taught children who visited her own kitchen. In 2006, Jones won the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, reflecting on a career of exposing home cooks to hundreds of otherwise unknown chefs. Rising to become a senior editor at Knopf and still finding the time to write her own books, Judith Jones shattered the glass ceiling. As someone who enjoys to cook, and eat, a variety of foods I found the recipes mouth watering and Judith’s life to be fascinating. A remarkable woman indeed. 4 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Lately I've been surrounding myself with the words of women whose lives have been shaped by food. They are great company, these women, and reveal something new to me with each read. My latest culinary/literary journey was Judith Jones' 'The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food.' Jones was the legendary Knopf editor responsible for publishing dozens of food luminaries over the course of her career. As the Times put it, "Ms. Jones may not be the mother of the revolution in American taste ... but she remain Lately I've been surrounding myself with the words of women whose lives have been shaped by food. They are great company, these women, and reveal something new to me with each read. My latest culinary/literary journey was Judith Jones' 'The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food.' Jones was the legendary Knopf editor responsible for publishing dozens of food luminaries over the course of her career. As the Times put it, "Ms. Jones may not be the mother of the revolution in American taste ... but she remains its most productive midwife." Toward the end of her memoir, Judith discusses what it was like to begin cooking for herself after her husband and partner in all things food passed away. "After Evan died, in the winter of 1996, I doubted that I would ever find pleasure in making a nice meal for myself and sitting down to eat it all alone. I was wrong. Instead, I realized that the ritual we had shared together for almost fifty years was a part of the rhythm of my life, and by honoring it I kept alive something that was deeply ingrained in our relationship. In fact, more than ever I found myself, about mid-afternoon, letting my mind drift toward what I was going to conjure up for dinner when I got home. Instead of walking into what might have seemed an empty apartment - actually, I've always had a dog who is hungry to greet me - I gravitate toward the kitchen, as I did as a young girl to bask in Edie's warmth, and I can't wait to bring it to life, to fill it with good smells, to start chopping or whisking or tossing and smelling up my hands with garlic. I turn on some music and have a glass of Campari or wine, and it is for me the best part of the day, a time for relaxation. When, at last, I sit down and light the candles, the place across from me is not empty." This passage strikes right to the heart of why I love to cook. So many moments in this novel resonated with me, as emitted from the heart of this woman who is wise, conscientious, bold, and as fantastic a listener as they come. Seems to me we could use more Judith Jones in the world.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Highly enjyable although for a memoir she doesn't get too personal. I guess some of the things I was curious about (like hooking up with her married husband) are really none of my beeswax though. I guess I was looking for more emotion and she seemed a bit detatched. Her husbands death was adressed in one sentence. She also tends to skip around time a bit and the book ends a bit abruptly. But despite it's shortcomings I really liked reading about the great chefs she met and about her time in Pari Highly enjyable although for a memoir she doesn't get too personal. I guess some of the things I was curious about (like hooking up with her married husband) are really none of my beeswax though. I guess I was looking for more emotion and she seemed a bit detatched. Her husbands death was adressed in one sentence. She also tends to skip around time a bit and the book ends a bit abruptly. But despite it's shortcomings I really liked reading about the great chefs she met and about her time in Paris.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Tittle

    3.5 patrician and slightly racist stars. I should drop it back to 3 since I didn’t want to make any of the recipes in the book but I added it back on for the shade she throws at Simone Beck and Marcella Hazan.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I love this book and can't believe I waited so long to read it. Jones edited John Updike, Sylvia Plath, Anne Tyler, and rescued The Diary of Anne Frank from a slush pile at an American publishing house. She translated Camus and Sartre for American audiences. She changed the way Americans eat by publishing Julia Child, James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, and Madhur Jaffrey. This book is mostly about what it was like to publish these amazing cookbooks and how American tastes have evolved. But her memoir al I love this book and can't believe I waited so long to read it. Jones edited John Updike, Sylvia Plath, Anne Tyler, and rescued The Diary of Anne Frank from a slush pile at an American publishing house. She translated Camus and Sartre for American audiences. She changed the way Americans eat by publishing Julia Child, James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, and Madhur Jaffrey. This book is mostly about what it was like to publish these amazing cookbooks and how American tastes have evolved. But her memoir also shows what it takes to be a good editor. Judith Jones grew to trust her appetite, and it led her to people who challenged or shared her sensibilities, and she collaborated with those people to help them produce their books. But it's Jones's lively, omnivorous palate that has shaped decades of American culture and tastes. She followed her heart and her belly, and she changed our whole culture. Fascinating.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    This was a very quick and interesting read - I finished it in a couple of days. Judith Jones is the editor who brought the world Anne Frank’s Diary and Mastering the Art of French Cooking and many other well known cookbooks in the 1950s, 60's and 70's. She was there to ride the wave of French cooking and good home cooking in general and eventually international cooking in America at a time when jello molds and cream of mushroom casserole’s were a standard. Jones doesn't dwell too long on any one This was a very quick and interesting read - I finished it in a couple of days. Judith Jones is the editor who brought the world Anne Frank’s Diary and Mastering the Art of French Cooking and many other well known cookbooks in the 1950s, 60's and 70's. She was there to ride the wave of French cooking and good home cooking in general and eventually international cooking in America at a time when jello molds and cream of mushroom casserole’s were a standard. Jones doesn't dwell too long on any one particular chef or author, but keeps the story lively by keeping to the highlights. We are introduced to her passion for French food (or perhaps I should say good food) as a young woman in France in the late 40's early 50's, how she came to be an editor for Knopf and her quest to cook well. While I enjoyed the book, a couple items did manage to irritate me: at times I found the tone a bit condescending - if you didn’t aspire to cook French, then you really aren't a true cook. If you are from the Midwest, you really just don't know how to cook - after all, Midwesterners only eat out of cans and apparently this was proven on a trip to rural Iowa and Minnesota. Well excuuuusseee us Midwesterners for not living in NYC. Her writing style, while enjoyable to follow, often had small holes where some item of information was left wanting and would either be provided later or not at all. Other than that, I found the book to be a neat look at the history of the cookbook, how influential a small group of people (Judith Jones, Alfred Knopf, Julia Child, Mariann Cunningham, James Beard and others) were in shaping the course of appetites in America. This book also dovetails very nicely with My Life in France by Julia Child, as the histories overlap.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    We had a great discussion at a library book group, but I didn't particularly enjoy this book. Jones is an editor who went to Paris in 1948, fell in love with French food and an American man, and was the editor for Julia Child and other big names in cooking, as well as for Anne Tyler and John Updike. She came across as elitist and completely unappealing to me, and I couldn't get past that. But it was a fun discussion (most in the book group liked it) and a good choice for groups that have read ot We had a great discussion at a library book group, but I didn't particularly enjoy this book. Jones is an editor who went to Paris in 1948, fell in love with French food and an American man, and was the editor for Julia Child and other big names in cooking, as well as for Anne Tyler and John Updike. She came across as elitist and completely unappealing to me, and I couldn't get past that. But it was a fun discussion (most in the book group liked it) and a good choice for groups that have read other food-related books (M.F.K. Fisher, Michael Pollan, or Julia's My Life in France).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Heather Marie

    A disappointing book. I was looking forward to hearing about Judith Jones and her experiences with so many pivotal foodies. Eventually, I ended up skimming much of the trite, sophomoric, skimpy narration about a life that could have been told with so much more vivacity and detail. Jones may well be a skilled editor and publisher, but she is not a writer. Her story was pleading for sensual description, yet her voice seems as if she just jotted down a litany of the foods she has eaten, the places A disappointing book. I was looking forward to hearing about Judith Jones and her experiences with so many pivotal foodies. Eventually, I ended up skimming much of the trite, sophomoric, skimpy narration about a life that could have been told with so much more vivacity and detail. Jones may well be a skilled editor and publisher, but she is not a writer. Her story was pleading for sensual description, yet her voice seems as if she just jotted down a litany of the foods she has eaten, the places she experienced them, and the people who awakened her palate. There was very little for me as a reader to sink my teeth into. I doubt any of this book will remain in my memory. The redeeming part of The Tenth Muse was the last 40 or so pages of annotated recipes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Bradley

    disappointing!! Confused narrative structure and cloying descriptions...and this from a legendary editor? She only gets as delightfully crisp (almost brutal) as she was onstage at Cooper Hewitt when she is describing "her" authors (Marcella H. was a bitch!), and determinedly walking her timid readers through her favorite recipes...including one for brains in mustard sauce. The "gooseberry flummery" sounded more appealing, frankly.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I love books about people who love food - and I particularly loved this book since Jones' job for many years was to find people who loved food and encourage them to write books about it. Jones' memoir was weakest, for me, when she was talking about her own early years and connection to food - perhaps because the food she remembers is so often bland and a form of privation in its own way. But once Jones' discovers France, and begins to edit numerous cook books (including -Mastering the Art of Fre I love books about people who love food - and I particularly loved this book since Jones' job for many years was to find people who loved food and encourage them to write books about it. Jones' memoir was weakest, for me, when she was talking about her own early years and connection to food - perhaps because the food she remembers is so often bland and a form of privation in its own way. But once Jones' discovers France, and begins to edit numerous cook books (including -Mastering the Art of French Cooking-) the text comes alive. I deeply appreciated Jones' long view of the changes in American cooking, and her support for turning back to the soil around us, and eating things that are local and in season. My one discomfort with the book came with Jones' single-minded devotion to her topic - which sometimes created some awkward moments. In lauding Thomas Jefferson's love of food and agriculture, for example, she makes no reference to the fact that it was slaves who were growing all of Jefferson's much loved crops. She even mentions that Jefferson had "his man," Mr Hemmings, learn to cook from a French chef to better emulate that style back in Virginia - without mentioning the very obvious fact that Mr Hemmings was a slave. While this isn't a book that is trying to write social history, it would have taken a sentence or two to acknowledge that the African influences in Southern cooking - in which Jones takes such delight - are owed to a system of enslaved labor. The book would have been strengthened that much more for the acknowledgement.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Judith Jones's memoir ia about her love affair with food. As senior editor for Knopf for many years, she has worked with the "greats" in the food writing business. Beginning her career after World War II, working for Doubleday in Paris, where she socialized with the likes of Capote and Baldwin, and got permission from Otto Frank to publish his late daughter's diary, and now still editing for Knopf, Jones's book is a history of her world and the truly creative geniuses she welcomed into it....Jul Judith Jones's memoir ia about her love affair with food. As senior editor for Knopf for many years, she has worked with the "greats" in the food writing business. Beginning her career after World War II, working for Doubleday in Paris, where she socialized with the likes of Capote and Baldwin, and got permission from Otto Frank to publish his late daughter's diary, and now still editing for Knopf, Jones's book is a history of her world and the truly creative geniuses she welcomed into it....Julia Child, James Beard, Edna Lewis,and Marion Cunningham, to name a few. Her husband, Evan Jones, also a writer, shared her passion for food, travel, and interesting people. A truly remarkable life lived by a truly remarkable woman who gave people chances to be all that they could be while making our world a better place.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    3.5 stars This was an interesting book about Judith Jones love affair with food and cookbook authors. As the editor who brought Julia Child to the attention of the American public, she was involved in all stages of book and recipe production. She and her husband were both accomplished cooks themselves, and her friends included most of the most famous cookbook authors and chefs in America. An interesting side note early in the book has her rescuing Anne Frank's diary from a slush pile and fighting 3.5 stars This was an interesting book about Judith Jones love affair with food and cookbook authors. As the editor who brought Julia Child to the attention of the American public, she was involved in all stages of book and recipe production. She and her husband were both accomplished cooks themselves, and her friends included most of the most famous cookbook authors and chefs in America. An interesting side note early in the book has her rescuing Anne Frank's diary from a slush pile and fighting for it's publication. I enjoyed the read, but can't be too enthusiastic because there was no passion in the writing, not enough personal details about her own life, which sounded quite wonderful because it was full of interesting people, travel, and very good food. Recommended only to those interested in food and cookbooks.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A little bland for someone who worked with the greatest cookbook authors of the 20th century, including Julia Child, Marcella Hazen, Madhur Jaffrey and Jim Beard. Jones only skims the surface of her relationship with the culinary giants, and one wishes she had taken the time to add a little more spice and substance to her memoir. For those of us with a cookbook addiction, however, this is still an essential read. It was a nice palate cleanser to the much tastier "My Life in France" by Julia Chil A little bland for someone who worked with the greatest cookbook authors of the 20th century, including Julia Child, Marcella Hazen, Madhur Jaffrey and Jim Beard. Jones only skims the surface of her relationship with the culinary giants, and one wishes she had taken the time to add a little more spice and substance to her memoir. For those of us with a cookbook addiction, however, this is still an essential read. It was a nice palate cleanser to the much tastier "My Life in France" by Julia Child.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy B

    I thought this was a different novel about female mathematicians (which has the same title) but gave it a go anyway since the library already checked it out for me. The early parts of the book where the author talks about famous chefs and the process of putting together cookbooks were interesting but the further along the book gets the more disconnected I got from the story. The author lives in a very privileged world I just can’t relate to and I got bored reading about how interesting her appar I thought this was a different novel about female mathematicians (which has the same title) but gave it a go anyway since the library already checked it out for me. The early parts of the book where the author talks about famous chefs and the process of putting together cookbooks were interesting but the further along the book gets the more disconnected I got from the story. The author lives in a very privileged world I just can’t relate to and I got bored reading about how interesting her apparently carefree easy existence is in her Vermont home where she forages daily for “organic” vegetables and mushrooms and eats beavers just for fun, in between yearly trips to Paris and wherever else of course. Reminds me of eat, pray, love in a bad way. I generally don’t enjoy stories about wealthy people doing wealthy people things. Also as a chemist when the buzzwords “unpasteurized” and “organic” pop up with respect to food I start to lose interest real fast. I’m only surprised some GMO hate didn’t sneak in there too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mskarla

    I don’t think she’s a great writer, but if you’re into food, chefs and food writers, this is a pretty compelling read because of all the people she knew and worked with.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I bought this over the summer, but finally finished it after meeting Jones on Saturday afternoon for a cooking demonstration. Some people stand in line to get tickets to see their favorite band, I was jumping out of my skin to meet an 85-year-old editor! :-) I also felt a certain kinship to her, since her family home was around the corner from where I grew up. I wouldn't call this a memoir in the traditional sense, she kind of skips around in her life, and what a life she's led. I would maybe sa I bought this over the summer, but finally finished it after meeting Jones on Saturday afternoon for a cooking demonstration. Some people stand in line to get tickets to see their favorite band, I was jumping out of my skin to meet an 85-year-old editor! :-) I also felt a certain kinship to her, since her family home was around the corner from where I grew up. I wouldn't call this a memoir in the traditional sense, she kind of skips around in her life, and what a life she's led. I would maybe say she has had more influence on cooking in America than anyone else, based on the fact she has brough these authors to us, Madhur Jaffrey, Marcella Hazen, Claudia Rodan, Joan Nathan, and of course, Julia Child. And she hasn't just worked with seminal cookbook writers, she's also worked with the likes of John Updike and Anne Tyler. Her fingerprints are on so many books. As a writer and editor, I loved reading to how she crafted these books with the writers, sometimes holing up in their homes for days at a time, cooking alongside them for an attempt to get the perfect explanation for the recipe for the reader as well as herself. An avid and curious cook, I think it was her questions that made writers look beyond the usual recipe and make it even better. I couldn't help but wonder if the careful attention she paid to each book is a dying art form. These days, it seems like things come out quickly, but maybe that's my own jaded look at the publishing world. It certainly was a wonderful ride to go on with her, and I loved the stories she told of her and her husband. The only downfall is after seeing her last weekend, she told an awful lot of the stories that were in this book, but it was still nice to hear them first hand.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Very much enjoyed this book, as I do any book written by someone who changed the way Americans (the world?) view food. I wish Jones had spent a bit more time on the actual editing process rather than on food's role in society, but I suppose that's because I come from publishing. Reading about how these cookbook authors - the fabulous Julia Child being the catalyst - introduced America to a whole bevy of new foods and flavors and tastes was fascinating - I realized, but only half-heartedly, just Very much enjoyed this book, as I do any book written by someone who changed the way Americans (the world?) view food. I wish Jones had spent a bit more time on the actual editing process rather than on food's role in society, but I suppose that's because I come from publishing. Reading about how these cookbook authors - the fabulous Julia Child being the catalyst - introduced America to a whole bevy of new foods and flavors and tastes was fascinating - I realized, but only half-heartedly, just how much grocery stores have changed in the past 20, 30, 50 years and how much our nation's collective tastebuds have changed, as well. Foods I take for granted (in my case, mainly ethnic foods: Ethiopian, Indian, Malaysian) simply weren't eaten in America when Jones started her career at Knopf. Amazing...I owe a lot to her. I'd be miserable if all that was on my plate was an overcooked piece of meat, a baked potato and a side of cooked-beyond-recognition vegetables. Ugh. At times, I did feel like I'd read this book before, and with all the attention food books have been getting lately (My Life in France, Omnivore's Dilemma, United States of Arugula, etc.), I probably have read the same theme in a different book. Still, Jones has an elegant writing voice, and her first-hand experience with food and America's palate makes this a more than worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in food.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This is a fascinating autobiography of one of the great editors in cooking. A friend let me borrow it because the author spends time up in the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont and thought I would be interested. Judith was the editor for Julia Child and others. She and her husband Evan brought french cooking into the mainstream. (as well as Thai, Indian, Chinese and American) Her commentary later in the book about how American's taste in food is being manipulated by marketing is on target. She quote This is a fascinating autobiography of one of the great editors in cooking. A friend let me borrow it because the author spends time up in the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont and thought I would be interested. Judith was the editor for Julia Child and others. She and her husband Evan brought french cooking into the mainstream. (as well as Thai, Indian, Chinese and American) Her commentary later in the book about how American's taste in food is being manipulated by marketing is on target. She quotes "Fast Food Nation" and relays a vignette how a child in her care defined macaroni & cheese by the Kraft/Annie model....in a box with powdered cheese. Said child did not like her homemade version cooked with real butter, vermont cheddar and fresh bread crumbs. Sad. I will say her descriptions of tripe left me squeamish. Some French cooking is very gamey...the end of the book includes some of her very favorite recipes. Fun to read if you like to cook....

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joseph J.

    I didn't have to be a master chef to enjoy this book, which I gave to my mother some years ago and now have read myself after learning of Ms. Jones' death. This is a wonderful gastronomical travelogue by a woman who lead a fascinating life as editor-not just of Julia Child but her professionalism extends to the Diary of Ann Frank. Her tidbits of visiting with Paul and Julia Child in France are memorable. I loved her Christmastime trip to Hawaii. Again, my talents are proscribed by the frozen foo I didn't have to be a master chef to enjoy this book, which I gave to my mother some years ago and now have read myself after learning of Ms. Jones' death. This is a wonderful gastronomical travelogue by a woman who lead a fascinating life as editor-not just of Julia Child but her professionalism extends to the Diary of Ann Frank. Her tidbits of visiting with Paul and Julia Child in France are memorable. I loved her Christmastime trip to Hawaii. Again, my talents are proscribed by the frozen food section and too often a microwave, but I can dream and Ms. Jones' life provides a delicious roadmap.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Athul Domichen

    A sumptuous journey through cusines, experiments, food writing, and anecdotes of culinary giants, albeit oozing out privilege. Made me hungry, made be cook better.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barrie

    This book had a lot of And then I did this And then I did that. Boring. Just like how food critiques should talk about the food, and not just say it was good, this book should've talked more about her experiences and not that she just had lots of them. I would've loved if she went deeper into her friendship with Beard or Childs, but nothing, nada, zilch. There were hints of a story that maybe lasted a paragraph, but overall the only thing I'll take away from this book are the 5 recipes I'll actu This book had a lot of And then I did this And then I did that. Boring. Just like how food critiques should talk about the food, and not just say it was good, this book should've talked more about her experiences and not that she just had lots of them. I would've loved if she went deeper into her friendship with Beard or Childs, but nothing, nada, zilch. There were hints of a story that maybe lasted a paragraph, but overall the only thing I'll take away from this book are the 5 recipes I'll actually make that are featured in the back. Ho hum I say!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    A short book - about 200 pages - this is a memoir of the editor of many cookbook authors, including Julia Child. My favorite parts were when Mrs. Jones shared her philosophies about food and how it connects us to nature and to our history. She is also very encouraging about being inventive in using the items you have on hand and not worrying about following someone else's recipe. It is a bit like she has sat down with you in the kitchen to chat about her experiences, which are fascinating, but l A short book - about 200 pages - this is a memoir of the editor of many cookbook authors, including Julia Child. My favorite parts were when Mrs. Jones shared her philosophies about food and how it connects us to nature and to our history. She is also very encouraging about being inventive in using the items you have on hand and not worrying about following someone else's recipe. It is a bit like she has sat down with you in the kitchen to chat about her experiences, which are fascinating, but leave you wanting more.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Great fun! An American girl who graduated from college in the protective (for females) 50's, then finagled not only a trip to Paris, but a temporary job there, then met the two loves of her life; the first a married (!) man, the second French food. She became increasingly sophisticated through living in Paris. Learning to cook great meals seems to have happened almost accidentally. Then, a job as an editor leads to food criticism, then helping edit Julia Child's books. An amazing story of a full Great fun! An American girl who graduated from college in the protective (for females) 50's, then finagled not only a trip to Paris, but a temporary job there, then met the two loves of her life; the first a married (!) man, the second French food. She became increasingly sophisticated through living in Paris. Learning to cook great meals seems to have happened almost accidentally. Then, a job as an editor leads to food criticism, then helping edit Julia Child's books. An amazing story of a fully lived life. Yeah, I'm envious.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tim Post

    Delightful A very enjoyable glimpse into the life of the woman who essentially made the modern transformation of American coking possible. Also, her recollection of moments and odd phrases from those she published are as warm as they are often humorous and sometimes even a little salty. You'll want to read this several times as the detail is as intricate as it is abundant and easily missed in her subtle, unassuming style.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pdxstacey

    I like food, I like Julia Child, I like feminist travel writing. So, I loved this book. I'm not sure it's nice to serve tripe to a kid used to mac and cheese from a box, but I admire her zest for life. It seemed particularly zesty as I was in bed sipping theraflu while I read it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Probably would have got four stars if I hadn't read MFK Fisher recently - it's enjoyable, but slight.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    It's taken me 10 years to read this book! I just recently came across this book while organizing my shelf and forgot it was here. My sister got this book for me in addition to the Julia Child Master the Art of French Cooking. At the time, I didn't invest my time in cooking, not like I do now. Therefore, it was a perfect time for me to pick up the book and start reading. An ok book about an amazing editor who's done more for food and new discoveries as Michael Pollen has for advocated healthy foo It's taken me 10 years to read this book! I just recently came across this book while organizing my shelf and forgot it was here. My sister got this book for me in addition to the Julia Child Master the Art of French Cooking. At the time, I didn't invest my time in cooking, not like I do now. Therefore, it was a perfect time for me to pick up the book and start reading. An ok book about an amazing editor who's done more for food and new discoveries as Michael Pollen has for advocated healthy food movement. It was a mildly interesting book in that we got to learn how she developed into a "foodie" with her life in Paris and eventual editor at Alfred Knoff. But she lacks the details I wish she would fill. I left that book with more questions than answers. If it was going to be a book about her discovery about cooking then why not fill in the blanks as far as how she met her husband and how he died. What happened? He was as much about food as she was, why not talk about that part of her life as well? I could only imagine she was short on time? I love that she included her favorite recipes at the end of the book but why not talk about her family and the friends and the growth of those amazing cooks she discovered and eventually helped edit and publish their books? I think of it as a lost opportunity. I had to look her up on wikipedia to learn more about her and her relationships and then also discover she died last Aug. She touched on her short time living with the artist Balthus in Paris. Tell me more about this experience! What was it like living with an artist? Did you talk to him about his art? Were you at all interested in learning more? Why even mention this when you couldn't give us any kind of interesting tidbit of information? Perhaps the only time she really expanded on a story happened when a son-in-law came and killed a beaver and they soon ate it. Really? That's all you got? I know there's more behind this ladies life but she was too chicken to talk about it. I'm not sure what the goal was in her writing this book. Perhaps it was the ability to talk very little in each chapter of her life that involves food and then have the real meat include her favorite recipes. Why not just make a cookbook then? Or go into detail about how you met your husband. That's interesting. This is like your life story but you fail to include how you got there. Completely lacks substance. It kept me wanting more. I

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paulette

    Before I went vegetarian, I was a foodie and I would have appreciated this memoir more then than I did today. I believe you can still be a foodie because there are so many lovely non-animal involved meals you can indulge in (I have dozens and dozens of cookbooks to prove this), but I found it depressing to read about what Judith Jones ate and that she never ever really understood, for example, why so many people reacted with hostility to the story she wrote about her neighbor killing a beaver be Before I went vegetarian, I was a foodie and I would have appreciated this memoir more then than I did today. I believe you can still be a foodie because there are so many lovely non-animal involved meals you can indulge in (I have dozens and dozens of cookbooks to prove this), but I found it depressing to read about what Judith Jones ate and that she never ever really understood, for example, why so many people reacted with hostility to the story she wrote about her neighbor killing a beaver because of the destruction he was causing and how she thought the best way to honor the animal was to eat his liver. Later in life, she condemned the activism against foie gras, using as an argument that factory farming is much worse (didn't stop her from continuing to support the industries with her food choices, though, did it?) All this I found to be depressing. Even the details of her relationship with Julia Child, whose master work she published, were not interesting (and this was my main reason why I wanted to read this memoir.) And yes, I know the book is centered around her life in food, but I wanted to know more about something I had never known until now--that it was thanks to Judith Jones that THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK was even published in this country--her publishing firm Alfred Knopf was going to reject it! Still if you love food, you will like this book. There are alot of recipes (including one of rabbit, which so repulsed me, I folded the pages inward so I didn't have to see it when I flipped through the pages.) Sadly you don't really get to know Judith Jones as well as you would like--at least I didn't. And of course, she is now gone, as she passed away this year.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ellis Steinhoff

    The title of this testament to one woman's appetite comes from Brillat-Savarin, who wrote of a 10th muse—Gasterea, goddess of the pleasures of taste. Many food writers would argue that this 10th muse is actually Judith Jones. For nearly half a century, Jones, an editor of literary fiction and a senior vice-president at Knopf, has served as midwife to some of the most culturally significant cookbooks of our time, introducing readers to newly discovered talents like Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, Ma The title of this testament to one woman's appetite comes from Brillat-Savarin, who wrote of a 10th muse—Gasterea, goddess of the pleasures of taste. Many food writers would argue that this 10th muse is actually Judith Jones. For nearly half a century, Jones, an editor of literary fiction and a senior vice-president at Knopf, has served as midwife to some of the most culturally significant cookbooks of our time, introducing readers to newly discovered talents like Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey and Claudia Roden, to name but a few. In this quiet, spare memoir, set against the shifting landscape of modern cookery in America, Jones reveals herself to be every bit as evangelical about good food and honest cooking as her authors, locating the points where her relationships with these writer-gastronomes and her own gustatory education converged. She ran an illegal restaurant in Paris, learned from Julia Child to de-tendon a goose (a set of maneuvers involving a broomstick), received a tutorial in fresh-bagged squirrel from Edna Lewis and counted James Beard among her mentors. At the end, the book is tinged with sadness over the decline of serious home cooking and the current fixation on dishing up fast and easy mediocrities. But Jones's belief in the primordial importance of cooking well is ultimately inspiring, and it fires these pages as it has fired her life.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    More than a soupçon disappointed with this title given that it’s been on my TBR shelf for over 8 years. I was familiar with Jones due to her connections with M.K.F. Fisher and Julia Child. Surprisingly for someone who was a book editor, Jones’s book is bland and impersonal. She writes as if from a distance. Paris, Julia Child, and James Beard were enough to keep me reading, though. Near the end of the book she relates the story about having a beaver that had taken up residence in her pond shot ( More than a soupçon disappointed with this title given that it’s been on my TBR shelf for over 8 years. I was familiar with Jones due to her connections with M.K.F. Fisher and Julia Child. Surprisingly for someone who was a book editor, Jones’s book is bland and impersonal. She writes as if from a distance. Paris, Julia Child, and James Beard were enough to keep me reading, though. Near the end of the book she relates the story about having a beaver that had taken up residence in her pond shot (she didn’t do it herself but furnished the gun for someone else), then cooking and eating its liver as a “tribute”. That did it for me. Why should I care about her opinions when she is insensitive and selfish? She lived near this pond for only part of the year, spending the rest of her time in NYC and felt that she had the right to violently remove this year-round resident. Then moaned about the reaction people had when reading her article about it. I scanned the recipes at the end but found nothing of interest. Jones may not care about fat content but many do today. Julia may not have cared either but she had the personality, charm, and bearing to be a presence beyond her recipes. Personality and charm are sadly lacking in this book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.