Today would have been Julia Child's 100 birthday.
She was quite a lady. I remember watching
sometimes her cooking shows. I really
enjoyed her because she was so down to earth.
I found this information from a website about her and
I would like to share it with you. The website is:
Popular TV chef and author Julia Child was born on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California. In 1948, she moved to France where she developed a penchant for French cuisine. With a goal of adapting sophisticated French cuisine for mainstream Americans, she collaborated on a two-volume cookbook called Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was considered groundbreaking, and has since become a standard guide for the culinary community. She also become a television icon with her popular cooking shows such as The French Chef. Julia Child was also the inspiration behind the 2009 film Julie & Julia, which was based on a cooking blog by Julie Powell.
The family accumulated significant wealth and, as a result, Child lived a privileged childhood. She was educated at San Francisco's elite Katherine Branson School for Girls, where—at a towering height of 6 feet, 2 inches—she was the tallest student in her class. She was a lively prankster who, as one friend recalled, could be "really, really wild." She was also adventurous and athletic, with particular talent in golf, tennis and small-game hunting.
In 1930, she enrolled at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, with the intention of becoming a writer. "There were some famous women novelists in those days," she said, "and I intended to be one." Although she enjoyed writing short plays and regularly submitted unsolicited manuscripts to the New Yorker, none of her writing was published. Upon graduation she moved to New York, where she worked in the advertising department of the prestigious home furnishings company W&J Sloane. After transferring to the store's Los Angeles branch, however, Child was fired for "gross insubordination."
In 1948, when Paul was reassigned to the U.S. Information Service at the American Embassy in Paris, the Childs moved to France. While there, Julia developed a penchant for French cuisine and attended the world-famous Cordon Bleu cooking school. Following her six-month training—which included private lessons with master chef Max Bugnard—Julia banded with fellow Cordon Bleu students Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle to form the cooking school L'Ecole de Trois Gourmandes (The School of the Three Gourmands).
Julia promoted her book on the Boston public television station near her Cambridge, Massachusetts, home. Displaying her trademark forthright manner and hearty humor, she prepared an omelet on air. The public's response was enthusiastic, generating 27 letters and countless phone calls—"a remarkable response," a station executive remembered, "given that station management occasionally wondered if 27 viewers were tuned in." She was then invited back to tape her own series on cooking for the network, initially earning $50 a show (it was later raised to $200, plus expenses).
Child's other endeavors included the television programs Julia Child and Company (1978), Julia Child and More Company (1980), and Dinner at Julia's (1983), as well as a slew of bestselling cookbooks that covered every aspect of culinary knowledge. Her most recent cookbooks included In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs (1995), Baking with Julia (1996), Julia's Delicious Little Dinners (1998), and Julia's Casual Dinners (1999), which were all accompanied by highly rated television specials.
Not everyone was a fan, however. She was frequently criticized by letter-writing viewers for her failure to wash her hands, as well as what they believed was her poor kitchen demeanor. "You are quite a revolting chef, the way you snap bones and play with raw meats," one letter read. "I can't stand those over-sanitary people," Child said in response. Others were concerned about the high levels of fat in French cooking. Julia's advice was to eat in moderation. "I would rather eat one tablespoon of chocolate russe cake than three bowls of Jell-O," she said.
famous chefs, Julia received France's highest honor: the Legion d'Honneur. And in August 2002, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History unveiled an exhibit featuring the kitchen, where she filmed three of her popular cooking shows.
Child died in August 2004 of kidney failure at her assisted-living home in Montecito, two days before her 92nd birthday. Child had no intentions of slowing down, even in her final days. "In this line of work...you keep right on till you're through," she said. "Retired people are boring."After her death Child's last book, the autobiographyMy Life in France, was published with the help of Child's great nephew, Alex Prud'homme. The book, which centered on how Child discovered her true calling, became a best seller.
Julia's memory continues to live on, through her various cookbooks and her syndicated cooking show. In 2009, a film directed by Nora Ephron entitled Julie & Julia hit theaters. The movie, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, chronicled several aspects of Child's life, as well as her influence on aspiring cook Julie Powell. For her performance, Streep won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress,
and received an Academy Award nomination.
Powell later described Child's television role as "magical" and groundbreaking. "Her voice and her attitude and her playfullness ... it's just magical," Powell said. "And you can't fake that; you can't take classes to learn how to be wonderful. She just wanted to entertain and educate people at the same time. Our food culture is the better for it. Our stomachs are the better for it."
August 15, 2012 marks what would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday. In celebration of Child's centennial, restaurants nationwide took part in a Julia Child Restaurant Week, featuring Child's recipes on their menus.
© 2012 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.