August 13, 2004
Julia Child has died


CNN is reporting that Julia Child has died. Child introduced French Cooking to a wide audience in America through her many cookbooks and PBS cooking shows.

Child was born in Pasadena, California as Julia McWilliams, and grew to 6' 2" tall. She served with the Office Of Strategic Services in Washington D.C., Ceylon, and China during World War II. Her husband Paul Child was assigned to the U.S. Information Service in Paris after the war, and Julia learned fine French cooking, with an emphasis on butter and cream at the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school in that city.

In 1961, she released her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", which she wrote in collaboration with friends Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Judith Jones recalls the making of the book at Knopf here. WGBH in Boston saw the potential in the book for a new kind of public television show and in 1963 "The French Chef" based on "Mastering..." premiered with Child as a host. It was wildly popular and inspired a generation of chefs.

Child's unique vocal style was parodied by comedians for years. The most famous of these was Dan Akroyd's "Save the Liver" sketch on Saturday Night Live.

Child's kitchen from "The French Chef" resides now in the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian has a great collection of stories about her on their website. Food TV chef Sarah Moulton, a former food prep assistant for Child, helped prepare the items for the Smithsonian exhibit.

A must read is Salon's portrait of Child and her career from 1999. The New York Times is treating the event with the appropriate gravitas and has a "complete coverage" page.

Child was 91 and will be missed by gastronomes around the world.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at August 13, 2004 10:54 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version
Comments

In the "utterly surreal" department I found this page - http://www.fred.net/turtle/weird/julia/JuliaChildUncensored.htm, which has Julia Child mp3's I can hardly describe or explain. Are they strange edited together strings of words or did she really say all this. I'm particularly curious about who or what "Grampa" was.

Posted by Barrett on August 13, 2004 at 3:12 PM

That is so sad. I actually just saw the story on MSNBC and hit up my food blogs list to see what the community was saying.

I think I'm going to dig out my old copy of "The Way to Cook" and prepare something in her honor.

May she rest in peace, and may her talent and inspiration be passed on and remembered by future generations.

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