In her classic program In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, Julia Child shares the kitchen with some of the most well-known and respected chefs of our time. She believed in watching and learning from practiced chefs, gathering ideas from what they demonstrate, and adapting them to our own home kitchens. These master chefs take pride in teaching real, basic techniques that everyday cooks can use successfully in their own kitchens. Learn more about the master chefs and their unique contributions to American cooking in the following biographies.
Meet the Featured Chefs
Blending her true Mediterranean regional cuisine with her own New England heritage, Jody Adams delivers a menu of fresh seasonal dishes to her devoted Boston following at her restaurant, Rialto. She began cooking as a child and apprenticed with food writer/instructor Nancy Verde Barr while she attended college, but it wasn’t until after graduation that Jody realized she had a serious future with food. Hired at Seasons restaurant in The Bostonian Hotel, Jody trained under renowned chef Lydia Shire and then went on to work for Gordon Hamersley in the ’80s. The food media and culinary elite began to take notice of her remarkable signature dishes as the executive chef at Michela’s and later behind the scenes at her own restaurant. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Jody Adams prepares a stuffed breast of veal served on a bed of polenta and treats us to a variety of cooking tips along the way.
Highlighting her classical French menu with indigenous Northwestern ingredients at Seattle’s Fullers restaurant, Monique Barbeau encouraged her following to embrace local products, while at the same time expanding regional culinary horizons. After graduating from the esteemed Culinary Institute of America, Monique secured positions in New York’s finest four-star establishments, hopping from the Quilted Giraffe to Le Bernardin to Chanterelle, where she learned the disciplined art of French cuisine. Monique returned to her Northwestern roots at the young age of 26 and took over the kitchen at Fullers with the creativity and style of a seasoned professional, and earned undisputed praise from the moment she hit the scene. Monique Barbeau presents her specialties on two segments of the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, first preparing her Eggplant Falafel With Tahini Dressing, and then Tequila-Cured Gravlax With Savory Dill Pancakes.
Creating his restaurant’s menu from a grassroots exploration of Mexican regional cuisine, Rick Bayless offers authentic dishes to an enthusiastic following at Chicago’s Frontera Grill. With a linguistics degree, a family history in the restaurant business, and a curiosity about Mexican cuisine and culture in tote, Rick and his wife spent years travelling, researching, shopping, and eating their way through Mexico to develop their understanding in this specialty. Documenting their experiences in Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico and opening the award-winning restaurants Topolobampo and Zinfandel as well as the Frontera Grill, Rick delights in sharing his passion. Judging from the media attention and his numerous culinary awards, he’ll be the authority on the subject for quite awhile. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Rick Bayless prepares some of his favorite dishes, including Chile-Glazed Country Ribs and a Rustic Jicama Salad.
Related Link: Read Rick Bayless’ full biography on PBS Food
From the time he arrived in America in the 1980s, Daniel Boulud has served up some of the most remarkable French cuisine in Manhattan, ranging in style from the opulent plates of Le Cirque to the simply refined dishes at his restaurant, Daniel. First exposed to the restaurant world in his grandfather’s Café Boulud in Lyon, a youthful Daniel enthusiastically charged into France’s finest kitchens to work under renowned chefs such as Georges Blanc, Michel Guérard, and Roger Vergé. When he was ready to move overseas, America embraced his culinary talent at Polo Restaurant, Le Régence, and Le Cirque, where the kitchen received two separate four-star reviews from The New York Times during his tenure. In 1993, Daniel opened his first restaurant, Daniel, in Manhattan, where he continues to recreate the simple, fresh, and seasonal food of his roots. Now with a strong culinary following, he recently opened Café Boulud, where his menu touts sumptuous dishes from his classical culinary beginnings. Join Daniel Boulud in his segment of IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, as he prepares Chilled Green Pea Soup and Roasted Veal Chops and Sweetbreads.
Cooking instinctively without any formal training, Leah Chase pours her soul into her down-home Creole cuisine, mixing black-, Spanish-, and French-influenced food into one delicious menu at her New Orleans restaurant, Dooky Chase. Growing up as a young girl in the segregated South, Leah was 18 years old when she first worked in a restaurant. Although she had always avoided cooking at home, Leah loved the fast-paced environment as a server, and immersed herself in the job. Years later, she pulled from these experiences to assist her husband with his family’s restaurant and quickly found herself running the kitchen, preparing creative recipes that naturally surfaced in her head. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Leah Chase expertly fries chicken, rolls deliciously light biscuits, and bakes a succulent sweet potato pie, providing practical tips for home chefs along the way.
Renowned for his glorious pastry and baking techniques, Jim Dodge creates his culinary masterpieces in the kitchen of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, as the in-house Food Director. Jim’s culinary journey began as an apprentice with Swiss pastry chef Fritz Albicken, and then spent ten years in San Francisco as the Executive Pastry Chef at the Stanford Court Hotel. He subsequently moved East and served as a teacher and Vice President of the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. Author of two books, American Pie and Baking With Jim Dodge, Jim was also a contributing editor for the new edition of Joy of Cooking. In his segment of IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Jim Dodge prepares a decadent Chocolate Buttermilk Fudge Cake with crystallized rose petals.
Introducing American food lovers to his native Piedmontese food, Roberto Donna has been embraced by a wide and thankful culinary audience. He is the proprietor of several successful Washington D.C. area restaurants that are known for their playful Italian cuisine. Roberto began his career as a teenager working in kitchens throughout Europe, and then left his native Italy at the youthful age of 19 for our own nation’s capital. There he opened his first restaurant, Galileo, within four years. Roberto has continued to earn his reputation, and, according to The Washington Post, has become “a national treasure.” In his segment of IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Roberto Donna demonstrates a Pizza Margherita and Panino di Pizza starting with basic pizza dough and continuing with a delicious fresh tomato sauce.
Treating Southwestern ingredients to classical French preparations with matchless creativity and enthusiasm, Dean Fearing’s whimsical “New Southwestern American Cuisine” at The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas attracts praise from all sides of the country. The son of an innkeeper, Dean spent his youth immersed in the hospitality business, growing passionate about restaurants only after studying with Escoffier protegé chef Harvey Colgin at a community college. He set off for the Culinary Institute of America to pursue formal training, and began climbing up the culinary ranks shortly after graduation. When he became chef of Agnew’s in Dallas, his playful cuisine using refined techniques and exotic ingredients was a hit with hoards of hungry food lovers. Years later, his menus still define “cutting-edge” at The Mansion on Turtle Creek. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Dean Fearing first prepares a Shrimp Diablo Tamale and Red Jalapeno Caesar Salad and then returns to create a Molasses-Glazed Duck Salad.
Introducing home chefs and professionals to yeast starters, doughs, and techniques used by generations of village bakers in her 1985 groundbreaking cookbook, The Italian Baker, Carol Field has since been considered America’s resident expert on artisan baking and Italian regional cuisine. A journalist by trade, Carol fell hard for the food and culture of Italy while traveling on assignment doing research for New West/California magazine. Zeroing in on bread, Carol spent two years travelling through Italian towns and villages, sampling and baking. While working with bakers, she developed an understanding of Italian cultures and an expertise in their flavorful, hearty loaves. Author of four additional cookbooks and numerous magazine contributions since then, Carol Field presents her original recipes for Italian Breadsticks and Rustic Country Bread in the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS.
Johanne Killeen and George Germon
Ever since the culinary team of Johanne Killeen and George Germon opened their restaurant in the early ’80s, delighted customers have been flocking to Italian-inspired Al Forno to sample their extraordinarily honest, made-to-order, delicious cuisine. Graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, both independently traveled to Italy where they fell in love with, above all else, the food. Upon returning to the States, the duo finally met in 1975 while working in a Providence restaurant called Joe’s Upstairs to support their artistic careers. Falling in love with each other and the art of cooking, they opened their own thirty-seat restaurant, Al Forno, and decidedly switched career paths. Sharing accolades from diners and awards from the James Beard Foundation, Al Forno has been called one of the best casual dining restaurant in the world. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Johanne Killeen and George Germon join Julia Child twice, first preparing Dirty Steak With Hot Fanny Sauce, and then preparing a sumptuous Triple Citrus Meringue Tart.
Offering fine French cuisine to his devoted Phoenix clientele for over a decade, Christopher Gross continues to update the classics with modern American ingenuity at his restaurants Christopher’s and Christopher’s Bistro. First entering the professional kitchen as a teenager simply to earn money for a new bike, Christopher ended up falling in love with his role behind the stove. From Phoenix’s Adams Hotel to Los Angeles to Europe and back again, Christopher talked his way into some of the greatest kitchens around the globe, including Chez Albert in Paris and L’Orangerie in L.A. Now a renowned chef himself, Christopher still travels abroad searching for unusual culinary techniques and creative new ideas. In the program IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Christopher Gross demonstrates some recipes with foreign flair, including Alder-Smoked Loin of Beef and a Middle Eastern side dish called Fareki and Harissa.
Using locally grown New England ingredients as the base for French-inspired home-style dishes, Gordon Hamersley offers Boston food lovers a down-to-earth gourmet experience at his restaurant Hamersley’s Bistro. After training in Boston through the ’70s, Gordon’s first major jump was to L.A.’s Ma Maison, where he absorbed the teachings of chef Wolfgang Puck. Inspired by the experience, he moved overseas to immerse himself in the French culinary culture that he had grown to appreciate. While it was difficult to leave the open-air markets and bistros behind, Gordon returned to Boston in the early ’80s for the opportunity to work with chef Lydia Shire. Opening his own James Beard Award-winning restaurant in 1987, Gordon is still consistently the subject of praise within local and national culinary circles. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Gordon Hamersley creates a comforting menu of Roasted Chicken With Garlic and Lemon, Roasted Onions, and Warm Peach Tarts.
From the Yucatan in Mexico to France’s Mediterranean coast to Liguria, Italy, Reed Hearon’s culinary inspiration may be scattered around the globe, but his techniques and discipline are precisely focused in the kitchen, as he executes simple, global cuisine in his San Francisco restaurants. After “home-schooling” himself with cookbooks, Reed stepped into some of the best Southwestern American kitchens, training with chef Jimmy Schmidt at the Rattlesnake Club and Mark Miller of Coyote Cafe. His understanding of the professional kitchen blossomed and he moved to San Francisco where he began to create a small restaurant empire. Opening his first restaurant, LuLu, in 1988, he went on to open two more that year and an additional three, including nationally acclaimed Ligurian hot spot Rose Pistola, in years to come. Author of three cookbooks, James Beard Award-winning chef Reed Hearon presents his signature preparations of Iron Skillet Mussels, Sand Dabs a la Plancha, and Frito Misto in the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS.
Actress, television personality, and well-lauded cookbook author, Madhur Jaffrey is considered the “Queen of Indian Cuisine” by viewers of her BBC TV series and culinary circles around the globe. Madhur originally moved from her native Delhi, India, to London, to study at the Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts. While her acting career flourished, Madhur always maintained a love for good food and an affinity for the cuisine of her home country. She has captured her passion on the pages of her numerous cookbooks about Indian and Asian food, including her most recent book, World Vegetarian. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Madhur Jaffrey joins Julia Child to cook a few Indian specialties, including Shrimp in Spicy Coconut Sauce, Basmati Rice with Dill, and Minty Sweet and Sour Eggplant.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Exploring the culinary customs, recipes, and heritage of European and Asian cultures with a scholarly but hands-on approach, Lynne Rossetto Kasper has passed on her passion for food through lectures, articles, and award-winning cookbooks for over 20 years. While she loved teaching and writing in New York and Denver in the ’70s, Lynne yearned for more in-depth knowledge, which she was hard pressed to find in American cookbooks. Travelling to the source, she spent five years in the early ’80s in Europe, sampling foods, talking to historians, and cooking with professionals and home chefs. Sharing her lessons in the James Beard and Julia Child Award-winning cookbook, The Splendid Table, and in her other work, The Italian Country Table, Lynne’s enthusiasm for her subject is quite contagious. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Lynne Rossetto Kasper first presents a 16th century-inspired roasted leg of lamb with a green bean and mortadella side dish, and returns to create a simple Sunday night pasta dish.
As the Executive Chef at New York City’s “21” Club in 1989, Michael Lomonaco made a name for himself reinventing Classical American cuisine to suit modern tastes, revitalizing the traditional steakhouse fare. After eight years of training as an actor, Michael chose to focus his talents on the stove rather than the stage and enrolled in the culinary program at New York City Technical College. Finding his passion in the professional restaurant world, he spent his formative training years under the tutelage of renowned French and Swiss chefs, including Alain Sailhac and Daniel Boulud, where he learned about fine cuisine and culture. With this solid classical background in tote, Michael moved away from his mentors and practiced his own creative adaptations at Maxwell’s Plum, before taking over the helm of the “21” kitchen. In the program IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Michael Lomonaco creates a unique Mixed Game Grill outside, which he plates in the kitchen with fresh berry relish and classic home-fried potatoes.
Sharing a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine with her loyal following in New York City, Zarela Martinez cooks the authentic food of her native Mexico at her namesake restaurant, Zarela. Learning her trade from necessity, Zarela supported her family by catering and then taking classes at the Culinary Institute of America. In 1981, while developing her skills, she took classes with Paul Prudhomme, who became her mentor and encouraged her to specialize in cooking her native Mexican cuisine. His advice was sound–before long, Zarela was catering for President Reagan and actress Lauren Bacall, and working at Cafe Marimba in New York City. In 1987, she opened her own successful establishment, Zarela. In this episode of IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Zarela Martinez demonstrates some of her delicious traditional cuisine, preparing tamales with a mole sauce.
Tempering the sweet and spicy flavors of South America and the Caribbean with traditional Mediterranean treatments, Mark Militello celebrates “New World Cuisine” on his menus at Las Olas and Mark’s in the Park in South Florida. Mark’s career path headed straight for the kitchen after he transferred from his pre-med program into Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Hotel Management. He opened his first restaurant, Mark’s Place, shortly after graduating and introduced Miami to an entirely new cuisine that would later be defined as “Floribbean.” Applauded for his sumptuous dishes and unique cooking style by the James Beard Association, the national press, and his local following, Mark opened two equally successful restaurants in the ’90s, Las Olas and Mark’s in the Park. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Mark Militello prepares Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Jamaican Spices and a West Indian Pumpkin Rice, both highlighting the bold spices he loves.
A pioneer of “New American Cuisine,” which celebrates classical cuisine slanted with whimsical modern twists, Alfred Portale continues to earn his remarkable reputation with every plate he creates. After beginning his career as a jewelry designer, Alfred felt his passions change from diamonds to foie gras, from rubies to Cotes-du-Rhone, and in 1981 he graduated first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America. Alfred spent three years in France working for renowned chefs Michel Guérard and the Troisgros brothers. When he returned to the United States, he opened his James Beard Award-winning restaurant, Gotham Bar and Grill, in New York City, combining his exceptional aesthetic sensibilities with a classically trained palate to create extraordinary dishes–both to behold and to taste. As part of IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Alfred Portale presents his Duck Soup With Foie Gras Raviolis.
Elevating French cuisine to new levels of splendor with perfectly fresh ingredients, impeccable sauce preparations, and dramatic multidimensional presentations, Julian Serrano continues to update the classics with refined flair at his Las Vegas restaurant, Picasso. A graduate of Spain’s Escuela Gastronomia P.P.O., Julian began working on Caribbean cruise ships to make his way closer to America. After a few years in the U.S., Julian landed a position in 1983 at San Francisco’s much-heralded Masa’s restaurant, where he learned to consider cooking an art, not just his trade. Working directly with chef Masa Kobayashi, Julian was inspired to embark on a brief, but intense, training period in the disciplined kitchens of France and Switzerland. The trip proved to be successful. Winner of the San Francisco Focus Gold Medal Award for best restaurant for twelve years in a row, Julian’s food is not only delicious, but consistent. Showing off some of his native cuisine, in the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS Julian Serrano prepares Paella With Chicken, Chunks of Lobster and Clams, Almond Roasted Figs, and Honey Lime Peaches for dessert.
Jimmy Sneed creates elegant cuisine from simple country fare, applying his well-executed culinary techniques to fresh local ingredients at The Frog and the Redneck in Richmond, Virginia. First exposed to French cuisine as a translator at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, he returned to America with an appreciation for the art of cooking. Working in a series of modest restaurants to support his law studies, Jimmy realized that his true passion was in the kitchen and convinced chef Jean-Louis Palladin of Watergate Restaurant to train him in the techniques that he had observed in Paris. Jimmy shadowed the Michelin-rated chef for six years, sharpening his culinary skills and cultivating his creativity before opening his own award-winning restaurant, The Frog and the Redneck. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Jimmy Sneed prepares his signature fare of Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs, Homemade Saffron Pasta, and Richmond Slaw.
Deriving pleasure from creating the finest classical cuisine with subtle culinary twists and turns at his original restaurant Patina, Joachim Splichal is credited with cultivating much of L.A.’s new restaurant culture. A graduate of the renowned Hotel and Management School in Montreux, Switzerland, Joachim launched into a sixteen-year training spree, working his way through Europe’s premium kitchens, including Jacques Maximin’s Le Chantecler in Nice. Finally satisfied with his solid base, Joachim moved overseas to run L.A’s Seventh Street Bistro, where his menu was wildly successful with food-loving Californians. Responding to the city’s praise, he opened up his own restaurants Patina in 1989 and Pinot in the early ’90s, both of which continue to earn him an unparalleled culinary reputation. In the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Joachim Splichal prepares his sensational Braised Lamb Shank on Barley Risotto.
Equally credited as a craftsman and an artist, pastry chef Jacques Torres takes the concept of dessert to an unworldly level at New York’s famed Le Cirque 2000, where he continues to add playful, multidimensional presentations to his remarkable menu. While his spectacular talent, unstoppable resourcefulness, and saintly patience are largely responsible for his success, his eight years of formal training with chef Jacques Maximin certainly helped. The youngest chef to earn the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France Patisserie (at 26 years old), Jacques Torres showed tremendous promise at a young age. He took to Manhattan on the prompting of chef Daniel Boulud, where the two worked side-by-side at Le Cirque, continuing to earn praise from newspapers, culinary associations, and an elite clientele. Jacques demonstrates chocolate tempering, design, and presentation and creates assorted pralines in the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS.
Maintaining a commitment to using the finest ingredients and emphasizing the connection between the farmers and ranchers and the food he plates in his restaurant, Charlie Trotter leaped into the culinary limelight in 1987. A self-taught chef who graduated with a political science degree, Charlie didn’t begin cooking professionally in kitchens until 1982, when he worked under the great influences of Bradley Ogden, Gordon Sinclair, and Norman Van Aken. His commitment to perfection, creativity, and dedication have paid off with many James Beard Foundation and Wine Spectator Awards and a following that spans the country. In this episode of IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Charlie Trotter prepares Seared Sea Scallops With Curried Carrot Broth and Peach Soup With a Trio of Sorbets.
Related Link: Read Charlie Trotter’s full biography on PBS Food
Fusing exotic flavors of Southeast Asia with his native French cuisine, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has been creating some of Manhattan’s most unique food for the past decade, relying on natural juices, light vinaigrettes, and flavored oils to enhance his simple, refined dishes. Enticed by the excitement of his family’s Alsatian kitchen, Jean-Georges began an apprenticeship at three-star Auberge de l’Ill near his home and later worked with chef Paul Bocuse in Southern France. After mastering his nation’s cuisine, he accepted a position at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, where he encountered the delicious flavors that would eventually star in his future dishes. Fortunately for New Yorkers, Jean-George’s culinary journey culminated with the opening of his two Manhattan restaurants, Jo Jo and Vong, in the early ’90s, where his globally inspired cuisine continues to be praised. The author of Simple Cuisine and owner/chef of Vong in London, Jean-Georges Vongerichten shows off his Crab Spring Rolls, Thai-Marinated Beef With Noodles, and Marinated Fruit With White Peppercorn Ice Cream on the program IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS.
Passing on his down-to-earth cooking style to adoring New England fans, Jasper White concentrates on preparing impeccably seasoned basics for “the working man” rather than elaborate complex presentations for the culinary elite at his new Summer Shack restaurant. After receiving a formal culinary education from the Culinary Institute of America, Jasper spent years travelling throughout the country studying food and cultivating new ideas from behind the hot line. He then settled in Boston in 1982 and carved out a niche in the local food scene deconstructing classics on his haute cuisine menu at Jasper’s restaurant. While this formula was successful for business, Jasper always sensed that he would eventually return to his culinary true love of hearty family-style cuisine: authentic and flavorful–not fussy. Embracing his unpretentious roots in the show IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, Jasper White creates a deliciously rich New England Fish Chowder and his simple Pan-Roasted Lobster.