Hooked on Julia Child After One Bite

By Rachael Hutchings, La Fuji Mama

I have always loved food, but my true obsession with food and cooking was born in 2000 while studying in Paris for a semester during undergraduate school. Although I came home with a suitcase filled with cookbooks, it wasn’t until 2008 that I ever tried out one of Julia Child’s recipes. I had just joined the Daring Bakers, an on-line group that tackles a new baking challenge once a month, and my first challenge was Julia Child’s recipe for French Bread. When I looked at the recipe, I felt as though the wind had been knocked out of me—it was long (eighteen pages long in the original Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 2). But I soon discovered that length did not translate into difficulty when it came to Julia’s recipes. She wrote her recipes in a manner that allows her to walk with you through each and every tiny step of the cooking process.

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Mary Ann Esposito: Julia Child Was Queen of the Kitchen

By Mary Ann Esposito, Ciao Italia

Happy Birthday Julia!

Julia Child would have been 100 years old on August 15. She was born in 1912 and I always remember her birthday because mine is in August too and that was a reminder for me to send her a birthday card. She was such a lady that she would send me a return typed postcard thanking me for remembering her birthday.

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The Introduction to a Lifetime of Cooking

By James Oseland

I was an unusual kid; at 9 years old, I had a fascination with food that went well beyond stuffing myself, like most kids, with breakfast cereal—although I did that, too. I loved to stand by the side of my father—the great cook in our home—as he worked at the stove. Of course I was a huge fan of Julia Child; Sunday afternoons, I’d sit rapt in front of the television set in my Northern California home, watching The French Chef. Julia’s show was a portal onto an adult world I had only a passing familiarity with—so sophisticated, so . . . delicious.

My own attempts at cooking hadn’t ranged beyond upending a box of Captain Crunch and pouring it into a bowl when, one fateful weekend, I turned on The French Chef to find Julia Child constructing a Caesar salad. She had pulled the recipe directly from the Caesar Cardini orginal, the one she had first tasted with her family in Tijuana in 1925, when she herself was only a child. It was the pièce de résistance of that episode, and I was transported by it. Lemon, anchovy, Romaine, Parmesan, coddled egg, Worchester sauce: It contained all the elements I could possibly want to make it my dream food. I scribbled the instructions she gave as she cooked onto a piece of paper, and I resolved to make that salad that very same day.

What an incredible joy my Caesar turned out to be, the way the high notes of the lemon and Parmesan and Worchester melded with the depth of anchovy and the creamy coddled egg, how the edgy texture of those perfect inner leaves of Romaine lettuce contrasted with the olive oil–fried bite of the croutons. The exaltation that I got at that sense of control and gratification, the smiles on the faces of my family members—what a perfect first adult food to make. It was the introduction to a lifetime of cooking.

And it would not have happened without Julia Child. Even for a 9-year-old, her show was totally intoxicating in its minimalist perfection. She didn’t need highfalutin sets or exotic locations or any other such bells and whistles. It was just Julia, her ingredients, and the extraordinary things she did with her ingredients that showed you that you can do it, too.

About James Oseland

CookForJulia-OselandJames Oseland is the editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine, America’s most critically acclaimed food magazine. Under his editorship, the magazine has won more than 25 awards, including eight James Beard journalism awards, and an award for best single-topic issue from the American Society of Magazine Editors. James has been an editor at Vogue, Organic Style, Sassy, the Village Voice, and Mademoiselle. He is also a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.


The Day I Nearly Killed Julia Child

PBS Food asks Chef Dean Fearing, chef and partner of Fearing’s Restaurant, about his time with Julia Child on the show, “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs.” In the midst of the Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Fearing pays tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

For somebody I didn’t think I would learn so much from, I really did learn a lot. The best thing I learned is “everything in moderation” and “eat whole foods.” I look back on our time together as some of the most inspiring times of my life, mainly when we were in deep discussion over a BBQ Sandwich and Pearl beer at Sonny Bryan’s in Dallas.

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Thomas Keller Remembers Julia Child Visiting His Restaurant

Video courtesy of Wine Spectator.

About Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills and his exceptionally high personal standards. He has established a collection of restaurants that set the standard within the hospitality industry. He began his culinary career at a young age, working in the Palm Beach restaurant managed by his mother.

Making American Kitchens Better

PBS Food asks Chef Charlie Palmer, of the Mystic Hotel, about his time with Julia Child on the show, “Cooking with Master Chefs.” In the midst of the Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Palmer pays tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

After getting past the “holy jesus” factor, it was really a blast working with Julia because she constantly combined humor with the very technical side of cooking. She insisted that we describe things exactly as we were cooking so viewers could successfully create the recipes!

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How To Be Remembered

PBS Food asks Chefs Johanne Killeen and George Germon, from Al Forno Restaurant, about their time with Julia Child on the show, “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs.” In the midst of the Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Killeen and Germon pay tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

Julia was a warm and generous host. It could have been an intimidating experience. Working with a legend, someone for whom we had so much respect, could have been nerve wracking! Instead, Julia made us very comfortable.

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Chef Ris Lacoste Remembers Julia Child

PBS Food talks with Chef Ris Lacoste, of Ris in DC, about her experiences with Julia Child and her participation in the “Cooking With Julia” film that chronicled her 90th birthday party. In the midst of Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Lacoste pays tribute to her legacy. Ris is also participating in the Julia Child Restaurant Week.

How did you get to know Julia?
I first met Julia in Paris in 1982. She was 70, I was 26. I worked for Anne Willan at her cooking school, LaVarenne Ecole de Cuisine. I typed all of the correspondence between Anne and Julia during the years 1981-82, much of which referred to the beginnings of the American Institute of Wine & Food. Julia and her husband, Paul, came to our graduation in June of ’82. The following year, I was called back from the states by Bob Chambers to be his sous chef for the Great French Balloon Adventure over Burgundy. Julia and Paul joined us for a balloon ride and we all dined together at Au Bon Acceuil on the Montagne de Beaune.

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