The Audience Master

PBS Food asks chef Susan Feniger, from Border Grill Restaurants, about her time with Julia Child on the show, “Cooking with Master Chefs.” In the midst of the Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Feniger pays tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

Julia was absolutely dreamy. She was easy, she always made you feel extra comfortable, and always cared what we were doing. Were we teaching on TV? How our restaurants were? Julia was generous, knowledgeable, humble, funny , witty, wild, and loved life. She was truly someone I respected and thought inspired all, young and old, cooks or not cooks. She didn’t take herself too seriously, nor did she make cooking something just for chefs. She made cooking accessible for everyone. I absolutely adored her.

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Brave, Curious, Bright and Fearless: A Tribute to Julia Child

by Tori Avey

This past weekend, I took my first Zumba class. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Zumba (or the silly infomercials it inspired), it’s a Latin-style calorie-burning dance/exercise class. As a food blogger, I most definitely need to burn some extra calories every week. Zumba seemed like a fun idea, but I have the unfortunate disadvantage of being born with two left feet. While I wanted to jump in and try something new, I was also mildly terrified I would look like an idiot and make a fool of myself.

Enter Julia Child, the culinary angel on my shoulder, reminding me I have nothing to fear but fear itself. Ever since I started cooking, I’ve drawn inspiration and delight from Julia’s cooking shows and books. Her teaching style was encouraging and kind, a constant reminder that nobody is perfect. She brightened the kitchen with her wit and charm. And while Julia doesn’t have anything to do with Zumba, she has an awful lot to do with inspiring my inner confidence—both as a cook and as a person.

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Julia Child Cooked In This Kitchen

PBS Food asks chef Christopher Gross 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, Gross pays tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

I had served on the AIWF board as local chair and would see her from time to time and she had been several times to my restaurant and had done some of the merci Julia dinners. She was very sharp and would always seem to say what she was thinking. When doing the show it was a little nerve racking because I was wondering if I would do something wrong. She impressed me with her integrity. It was about cooking and teaching not about endorsements to sell her name and make money recommending knifes, pots and pans.

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My Day with Julia Child

PBS Food talks with Lynne Rossetto Kasper, from radio’s The Splendid Table, 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, Kasper pays tribute to her legacy.

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

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: This wasn’t the first time I worked with her. We had a chance to work together before. What struck me about that particular experience was that the whole show was being shot in her home. The basement is where the prepping for the show was being done. You came in a day ahead to go over the show, while your recipes were being prepped. Nancy Verde Barr, author of Backstage with Julia: My Years with Julia, was there monitoring every move in the kitchen. I was so impressed by Julia herself. By the time Master Chefs was done Julia wasn’t a spring chicken. I went into makeup the following morning. She had been filming the entire day-she was famous for her energy-there was mention that she was up till 4 o’clock writing. She still made the time to come in to say how delighted she was to be working with me. There is a humor side of it. Here you are explaining to Julia something about your dish when you want to be comparing note with her. You want to know what she will do.

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Michael Chiarello: Julia Kept it Simple

By Michael Chiarello

I picked up some great habits from Julia Child along the way. When in public and something goes wrong, the ability to be self-deprecating and roll with the punches will endear you to your audience. Another habit I picked up from her when dining in other chefs’ restaurants, before leaving the restaurant, is to go into the kitchen and thank each and every cook. In cooking, she taught me to keep it simple. Great ingredients and perfect technique. And, of course, practice, practice, practice.

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Richard Blais Remembers Watching Julia With His Grandmother

By Richard Blais

My first food television experience, like for many, was with Julia. I remember being a little boy and watching her on a small black & white TV my grandmother had. I would sit there and eat fork crushed potatoes with butter (my grandma Hazel was Irish / English) while Julia was, you know, making coq au vin and using the innards for the sauce or something.

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The First Lady of Public Television

PBS Food asks chef Jasper White, of Summer Shacks Restaurants, 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, White pays tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

Working with Julia was a great honor and thrill for me – one of the highlights of my career. At the time I did understand the importance of doing a segment on this show; everything Julia did would become culinary history and would have a permanence unlike any other TV I had done. That said, working with Julia was like being with Julia. We were friends. Julia didn’t change for the camera. I was very comfortable with her and felt at home in her kitchen, a place I had cooked in several times before. One of the dishes planned for the show, my pan-roasted lobster, required the lobster to be cut up alive. This was controversial because just a few months prior Katie Couric had screamed when a lobster was cooked on her show – setting off the animal rights contingent. We discussed ways to avoid this but, but Julia decided that it had to be included in the cooking lesson. You see, although Julia was very (naturally) entertaining, her goal was to teach. We filmed all day, no detail was too small for Julia not to inquire about. Like all great teachers, she was a learner with an insatiable appetite for knowledge. It was a beautiful day and I will always treasure the memory.

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He’s So Manly

PBS asked Jimmy Sneed, chef of Blowtoad, questions about his time with Julia Child on the show, “Baking with Julia.” In the midst of Julia Child 100th Birthday Celebration, Sneed pays tribute to her legacy.

What was it like working with Julia Child?

My first meeting with Julia was probably around 1987. I was having lunch at Galileo in Washington, D.C. when a friend passed by my table and told me she was with a group of women having lunch with Julia Child in the private room. Would I like to meet her? Hell yeah. So I racked my brain for what to say to her. Back in ‘74 I had been befriended by the owner of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris who gave me a job translating for the students. She provided me with an apartment and an unparalleled view of the cooking world. Julia must have known Mme. Brassart well. There’s the connection.

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