By Michael Natkin, Herabivoracious.com
When I first started cooking, in Louisville, KY in the 1970s, I didn’t have access to a lot of cookbooks. But my mom did have Mastering the Art on her shelf, and I read it cover to cover and made her crepes, mayonnaise and many other simple dishes. Julia’s fanatical attention to detail in her recipes was fascinating. It wasn’t always easy to sort out which of the fine points were crucial and which were just niceties, but she taught me to scrutinize every aspect and not be satisfied with “adequate” food – an impact that I still feel, 30 years later. I can’t imagine how different the food world would be today without her influence.