Julia Child, a native of California and a Smith College graduate; Simone Beck, French-born and educated; and Louisette Bertholle, half French and half American, educated in both countries represented an even blending of the two backgrounds and were singularly equipped to write about French cooking for Americans. Mrs. Child studied at Paris s famous Cordon Bleu, and all three authors worked under various distinguished French chefs. In 1951 they started their own cooking school in Paris, L Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, at the same time that this book was taking shape. Shortly after the appearance of Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961, Julia Child began appearing in the public television series The French Chef, which made her a national celebrity, earning her a Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television programs and numerous cookbooks followed, including Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, with Jacques Pepin, in 1999. The Way to Cook, her magnum opus, was published in 1989, and in 2000 she gave us Julia s Kitchen Wisdom, a distillation of her years of cooking experience. Julia Child died in 2004, and her memoir, My Life in France, was completed by Alex Prud homme and published two years later."