Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Cooking from The Art of French Cooking was a daunting task! Find out what happened.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Our competition book, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

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.

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

The start of Canetone À L’Orange, early on competition day.

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.

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

What’s called “the fraisage” or final blending of pastry dough.

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:

Cookbook Club Competiton Round 2 Menu

Feel free to be jealous of the feast we had.

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.

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Our starting nibbles for the evening – cheese, wine and homemade baguette with a bit of homemade butter (which was actually a result of overwhipped cream).

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

The competitors (usual suspects) on the evening.

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Mousseline De Poisson by Ann, so classy served in martini glasses.

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

The “Charlie’s Angels” + 1 of the kitchen, from left, Ann, Kelly (check out @kelfeeds on instagram), Mehru and Jules.

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Boeuf Bourguignon by Jules which was days in the making. The result? Utterly scrumptious, deeply flavoured and I couldn’t get enough!

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Dished up, ready for our feast. It’s been suggested that we get a food stylist to help us improve how everything looks. Any volunteers?

The Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Canetone À L’Orange which the maker (@kelfeeds) said looked so 80’s. It does but it was also delicious. Alot of the work was in the sauce which was poured over the top just before serving.

The Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Mehru, serving up her Poulet Poele À L’Estragon which was definately a crowd pleaser. Again, the sauce was as much a part of the dish as the roasted chicken.

The Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Jules, looking fabulous, lifting the lid on her French Classic, Boeuf Bourguignon.

Cookbook Club Competition Round 2

Tarte Tatin, made by Angie but modelled by Kel.

Adding to the mood of the night.



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.

Angela Manners loves finding an interesting story and talking to people about what they are passionate about. She is Australian but was born in Bangkok, grew up in Southeast Asia and then studied in America. Angela is passionate about coffee, food and everything that surrounds them.
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