The Tenth Muse
My Life in Food
By Judith Jones
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307264954, 304pp.)
Publication Date: October 23, 2007
List Price: $24.95*
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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.
Judith Jones is senior editor and vice president at Alfred A. Knopf, where she has worked since 1957. She is the coauthor with Evan Jones of three books: The Book of Bread; Knead It, Punch It, Bake It! (for children); and The Book of New New England Cookery. She also collaborated with Angus Cameron on The L. L. Bean Game and Fish Cookbook. Recently, she has contributed to Vogue, Saveur, and Gourmet magazines. In 2006, she was awarded the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in New York City and Vermont.