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In fall and winter 1970, the culinary stars aligned. Some of the food world’s most prominent figures found themselves together in the south of France: Julia Child of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Child’s French coauthor Simone Beck, American food authority James Beard, food writer M. F. K. Fisher, acolyte of rustic French cookery Richard Olney, and editor Judith Jones, along with assorted spouses, siblings, partners, and friends.
Luke Barr, Fisher’s grandnephew, documents their convergence in an evocative new book, with an appropriate time capsule of a title: “Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste.”