If there was any cookbook that I wanted to cook from, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking would have a been near the top of my list. It was the non-fiction book and subsequent movie Julie & Julia that put this cookbook on my radar in the first place and that was why I picked it when I was lucky enough to win Round 1 of the Cookbook Club Competition.
At the start, I was hoping to have my own mini-moment with Julia Child but by the end, I had developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with it… Firstly, there are NO pictures in this cookbook. None. A few illustrations here and there, but otherwise, there are no other visual references. How does one work with that?! Secondly, since the book is comprehensive, when you are looking at one single recipe, you may be sent to three different sections of the book to learn all the different techniques that go into one dish.
I’ll be honest, it was a tough read and a very tough competition. But as we are all true competitors (yes, I am finding my competitive side), we each picked a recipe and went for broke. Some started their homemade stock a week earlier and test-baked homemade baguette (just to show off as it wasn’t a dish for the competition). Some of us stuck our heads in the sand and waited until competition day to tackle our daunting task.
This time around, while the teams remained the same, it was the women who did all of the cooking (except from the show-off baguette maker – but can I say, we were all impressed and the baguettes were amazing!).
The menu was as follows:
Instead of the excess that was Round 1 (cooking from David Thomson’s Thai Food) we each did one dish but we supplemented the meal with sides that were not for judging.
It was the 18th of February when we all gathered at our host’s (Team Jules & Ed) house for a rather French affair. There was music playing, a “cool” breeze in the air, candles glowing and fine food.
Enjoy the following pictorial (apologies for the images but low lighting is not kind to food photography).
And the winner? Find out at the very end of this post.
AND THE WINNER WAS?
Poulet Poele À L’Estragon (Pot-roasted Chicken) by Mehru! Congratulations!
We are all waiting to hear what the next cookbook for The Cookbook Club Competition Round 3 will be.
All images by the contestants of The Cookbook Club Competition Round 2.