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All About Joy

the history of the Joy of Cooking...

...parallels the history of the American kitchen and cuisine. Its eight editions take us from the Depression Era to the 21st century. Many JOYs have been passed down through families and many people are curious about the editions on their shelves. Visit our books page to read the history of each edition. 

To learn about the people who have worked and continue to work to make JOY America's favorite kitchen reference, visit the Friends and Family pages. As you can imagine, a book this size with such a long and colorful history requires the time and effort of a small army. The JOY is constantly being updated to reflect current cooking knowledge, and we work diligently to correct any errors we, or our readers, find in the book. If you find an error or a subject that needs addressing, please let us know via our Contact Us page.

meet the JOY family

The Joy of Cooking has been a family affair since its first publication in 1931 when Irma wrote the book and her daughter Marion did the illustrations and helped with recipe testing. Today, the book is in the hands of the fourth generation-- John Becker, Irma Rombauers's great-grandson, Marion Becker's grandson, and Ethan's son.


The JOY Family has expanded to include Ethan's wife, Susan Cope Becker, and Maggie Green, both editors and writers on the 2006 anniversary edition. Most recently, Megan Scott has been welcomed into the family as John Becker's fiancée. The JOY is not a corporate cookbook. We remain a family business, and each member of the family actively works to improve the book.

the JOY kitchen

Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and a stone's throw from the Little Tennessee River, the JOY family's test kitchen is a hive of activity as we research, test, and photograph new and classic JOY recipes daily in our continuing effort to keep the book ---and its wealth of recipes, tips, and reference information-- up to date, error-free, and as simple and useful as we can possibly make it. On an average day, we test recipes, work on revisions for future printings, maintain the website, write seasonal newspaper articles, develop new recipes, and answer your questions and concerns from our JOY Community forums, comment sections, Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as good, old-fashioned snail mail. We are fully dedicated to the quality of the book and to the happiness of its many fans, and we wholeheartedly welcome you to our online home.

Please: if you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback of any kind, post a comment on one of our blogs or in one of our forum sections and we will respond as soon as we can, which is usually within a day.

For a tour of the JOY Kitchen, visit our welcome page.