Julia Child’s 100th Birthday

What better way to celebrate than with a sumptuous homemade meal and a lovely French pastry?

Author, TV cook, and food icon Julia Child was born on August 15, 1912. A California native, it was her husband’s job which took her to France in 1948, and it was there that her cooking career began.  After taking classes at the prestigious Cordon Bleu cooking school, she published her first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (along with co-authors Louisette Bertholle and Simon Beck.) Julia filmed a short cooking segment for public television when she returned to the States; it was immediately popular and led to her first television series, The French Chef.

Now we can turn on the TV to one of several food-focused networks and watch cooking shows all the time.  This wouldn’t be the case without television pioneers like Julia. She showed viewers that it wasn’t as hard as we thought to make great food at home. She made mistakes on camera and laughed, and really enjoyed what she was doing. Cooking wasn’t drudgery with Julia, it was fun!

Julia inspired home cooks and professionals alike for decades through her many shows and books. She passed away in 2004, but her works still bring joy and great food to many people.

Celebrate Julia’s birthday and a summer bounty of fresh produce with some of these suggestions:

Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child  
Basic recipes for classic dishes combined with many tips and techniques for success. Years of experience shine through in Julia’s commentary and advice. Several good pictures complete this book.
The French Chef with Julia Child (DVD)
Collecting episodes from Julia’s first television show, here is a great collection of classics, including omelets, roast chicken and her favorite, Queen of Sheba cake. 

Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home by Julia Child and Jacques Pépin 
The companion volume to one of Julia’s later television series, this collaboration combines Jacques Pépin’s focus on fresh food and clean flavors with Julia’s classical techniques and recipes. The authors seem to be having a lot of fun together, and it comes through in the writing and the recipes. Photographs guide readers through basic techniques and highlight the beautifully prepared dishes. 

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Julie Powell decided to spend a year cooking every recipe from Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and then blog about it. Talk about dedication! Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, always interesting, this memoir was the basis for the movie of the same name.

- Sharon  G.


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