Patricia Wells’ Julia Child Remembrance

By Patricia Wells

One of the most amazing things about Julia Child was her total straightforwardness. Once, years ago, when I was saddened by a mutual friend’s passing, she responded, matter of factly: “But he lead a good, long life.” And so did she.

Julia was my mentor, friend, a model for how to conduct one’s life. It was totally fitting that my first encounter with this grande dame was a fan letter she wrote in 1984 upon publication of my first book, The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris.

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Ming Tsai’s Favorite Julia Child Memory

(Article reposted courtesy of CreateTV)

By Ming Tsai

The first time I met Julia was at her house where she and Jacques (Pepin) were shooting their cooking show. The theme of the episode was sandwiches. Jacques was holding a baguette and chocolate while Julia had an ice cream sandwich.

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When the Cream Bubbles Over

PBS Food talks with chef Norman Love, of Norman Love Confections, about his time with Julia Child on the show, “Baking with Julia.” In the midst of Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Love pays tribute to her legacy.

PBS Food: What was it like working with Julia Child?

Norman Love: I have been involved in the culinary industry for nearly 30 years and have had a small handful of the most meaningful and memorable times with Julia. She was witty, funny, and made people feel comfortable, especially for a young pastry chef like me. In “Baking with Julia,” my topic was pâtissière, which is the batter used in pastries, such as cream puffs. I was directed to make a creative twist to pâtissière, which is a very traditional batter in the industry. I came up with chocolate beignets which was so funny. The following day I arrived in the kitchen and we began the process of baking. The first portion of the recipe was brought out and then the next in segments. At the time, I was preparing a walnut cream sauce. We turned the stove on to heat the sauce and moved on to the next item. The pot began to overheat and the cream bubbled over. She was so upset and embarrassed but we began again. I began again, saying, “we are going to make the walnut cream sauce” and she said, “It would probably be better to use a larger pot.” We laughed during the show but viewers didn’t see why, that before it was a big mess. Besides the obvious of having the ultimate opportunity to share culinary knowledge, it was one of the most special times out of all the years being in the industry.

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A Sweet Potato Pie for Julia

PBS Food talks with chef Leah Chase, of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, about her time with Julia Child on the show, “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs.” In the midst of Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Chase pays tribute to her legacy.

PBS Food: What was it like working with Julia Child?

Leah Chase: That was unbelievable. This woman was just wonderful. I cannot tell you. She brought me to Boston, she put me up in a hotel and every time I had to go to her house I could walk because she didn’t live that far away. We worked in the house. She was unbelievable. I never met a person like Julia child. As famous as she was, she was so down to earth. She never made you feel little. I was not a certified chef. But she made me feel so good and I could fry chicken with her and make sweet potato pie. She treated you like family because we did all this in her house. And that was just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. That was quite an experience for me. I can’t explain it to someone.

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Michel Richard’s Praise for Julia Child

PBS Food asks chef Michel Richard, of Central and Citronelle, about his time with Julia Child on the show, “Baking with Julia.” In the midst of Julia Child’s 100th birthday, Richard pays tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

Julia was always very, and she was so in love with France and French food. She was our greatest ambassador of French food.

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Jose Andres was Inspired by Julia Child

In this video, Made in Spain host Jose Andres talks about the first time he watched Julia Child on PBS.

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Joan Nathan: Julia Loved to Chat and Gossip

By Joan Nathan

I first met Julia in the mid 70s when my husband Allan and I were living in Cambridge. At the time I was studying at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. When the Mexican cookbook writer, Diana Kennedy, came to Boston, she asked me to take her to an appearance on ABC. Starstruck, I picked her up at Julia’s where she was staying. Julia could not have been more gracious and gave me an autographed copy of her French Chef. For the last thirty years of her life we were friends: she showed up at a tour of Jewish Philadelphia [a walking tour] I was giving for the IACP, we went out for many meals together, she appeared on my own PBS TV series Jewish Cooking in America and filmed a few episodes of her show (Cooking with Master Chefs) at my house, and most of all, we spent many hours on the phone gossiping, something she dearly loved.

For Julia’s 90th birthday and the opening of her kitchen at the Smithsonian American History Museum, I threw a small dinner party for her. It was mid summer and I cooked the meal with my son David, who at the time was about 16. We decided that for this meal for 30 we would make simple American food. David took some fresh figs and squash blossoms and filled them with goat cheese as an hors d’oeuvre. I made my health bread, with mixed heirloom tomatoes and lots of basil, salmon with preserved lemon and za’atar, and corn with pesto. The dessert was an apricot cobbler with lots of ice cream as well as Ann Amernick’s chocolate cake decorated with all of the covers of Julia’s books. Julia taught me the art of simplicity and just being oneself, lessons that have guided me through many subsequent dinner parties!

About Joan Nathan

Joan Nathan was the host of “Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan” on PBS, and she is the author of is the author of ten cookbooks including her most recent, “Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous.” She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine, among other publications. You can learn more about Joan on her personal website for a listing of her upcoming appearances and more.

Spike Mendelsohn: I Grew Up With Julia Child

By Spike Mendelsohn

I grew up in a restaurant family. This unique upbringing placed me in the kitchen at a young age, but it also meant that my parents worked non-stop. As a kid I required constant supervision to stay out of trouble, so my mom would turn on PBS and watch with me. I grew up with Julia Child. She was a fixture in my living room and an influencer in my kitchen. My mom knows how to pick role models.

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