Comments: Food Section Digestion - August 19, 2004


Many of the newspaper food writers recent articles on Julia Child missed the point on what Julia brought to cooking at home. While they usually tell us that Julia brought the joy of French cooking to our kitchens, they usually miss the real points of how she taught us to cook and be adventurous. Most of the writers seemed to be playing a game of “I interviewed Julia one time” or “I met her two times” or “I met her many times”. Sorry, I’m not impressed. I wanted to know the effect Julia had on you and your cooking or, heaven forbid that you got out of your office to write the article, what her affect was on the average home cook. Suzanne Martinson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette came the closest, even though she did had to include descriptions of two meetings with Julia. Maybe the problem is, as Rosanne Gold, author of Recipes 1-2-3, said that food writers write for other food writers and the end user is being ignored. Julia didn’t get famous with her PBS shows with just food writers and chefs watching.

I learned to appreciate Julia as an Air Force officer flying combat missions in Southeast Asia. We got Julia and the Galloping Gourmet on Armed Forces TV. We watched the Galloping Gourmet more for his comedic effect. Julia, on the other hand, was watched as a real professional who reminded us of home and who inspired us to go to the local markets and cook meals on a small grill when we got tired of eating in the mess. My cooking adventures expanded considerably after I got back to the states.

As I get older, I see so many older people giving up on cooking and eating fast food. Julia kept showing us the thrill of cooking and good food up till the day she died. The younger generations are going to appreciate Julia’s legacy from articles about meeting Julia. I just hope that we can continue to see her on PBS.

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