We are in the midst of an extraordinary revolution today, this minute—a social revolution that is making astonishing, radical changes in how we live now, and how we live in the future.
—COOKBOOK AUTHOR IRENA CHALMERS, WRITING IN 1986
Something happened, rather suddenly, beginning in the early 1960s. French cuisine came into vogue in the United States. Millions of American homemakers, who had just made Peg Bracken's The I Hate to Cook Book a bestseller, rushed out in droves to buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle. By the early seventies, cooking schools had opened all over the country, and in the decade that followed a new generation of gastronomic superstars became household names—in addition to Julia Child there were Jacques Pépin, Marcella Hazan, and Pierre Franey. Gourmet shops opened, selling everything from sun-dried tomatoes and stone-ground mustards to wild mushrooms and imported cheeses. The restaurant scene exploded.
There is little agreement over the meaning or causes of this transformation. But the changes are so sweeping that it