Julia Child: Home Cooking with Master Chefs
Julia Child: Home Cooking with Master Chefs (Microsoft Corp.) is a better choice for your digital cookbook collection. Julia, still looking and sounding like one of Jim Henson’s more inspired Muppets, is joined by 16 first-rate chefs as she dishes out more than one hundred recipes and a plethora of helpful tips and techniques. Text and audio are nicely complemented by video interviews and tours, from sections detailing the best way to butterfly a salmon to sections that let you explore every knife in your kitchen, one at a time. If you want to know more about the chefs who are imparting their wisdom, there’s a brief but effective biographical facet to the disc. Necessities like a print function and a simple toolbar for navigation have not been overlooked. The scope of the recipes is impressive, albeit slightly gentrified; there are no tips here to add some zing to your hamburger (or even your steak-burger); but that’s why the packaging uses the word “gourmet.” There is, however, a certain lowbrow pleasure in hearing Julia declare with a straight face that she “admits to being a knife freak”. Furthermore, this CD-ROM proves that there are subjects better suited to this medium than to print or video. The illustrative video clips fulfill a very specific need without forcing you to sit through a half-hour videotape; taken in conjunction with the rest of the program, the result is a gourmet cookbook more likely to actually teach than anything which has preceded it.
– November 1995