Published on January 11th, 2018 | by Ankita Dutta1
Julia Child: a cultural phenomenon who was the face of French cooking in America
Julia Child was a famous American writer, chef and television personality. If you are a food lover, you must know of her.
She was born on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, California. Julia received her primary schooling from Westridge School, She graduated from Smith College and wanted to become a writer. She worked as copywriter in the advertising department of a reputed home furnishing company in America. In 1941, she moved to Washington D.C at the onset of World War II and volunteered as a research assistant for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). During her OSS days, she met her future husband, Paul Child. After meeting Paul, she developed her interest in cooking.
In 1948, she arrived in France with her husband Paul. Paul and Julia lived in Paris. At that time, she didn’t know French. France was completely new to her.
She used to visit local food markets and took classes at Cordon Bleu cooking school. Soon, she fell in love with French cuisine and culture.
Her ways of cooking influenced normal people. according to Julia Child, anyone could be a good chef. She approached many publishers but got rejections for her first cookbook. Finally, it was published in September, 1961. Her cookbook “Mastering the Art of French cooking” became a guide for the culinary community. It remained the best-selling cookbook for the next five years.
Julia Child started her television career with the famous cooking show ‘The French Chef’ in1962. Her casual approach of cooking won millions of hearts. She showcased French cuisine to the American people. For her contribution to cooking, she was honored with the George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy Award. In 1993, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Culinary Institute of Hall of Fame.
She died of kidney failure in 2004. “Julie & Julia”, a film released in 2009 was based on her life. She is still considered one of America’s finest chefs.
This article was translated in French by Sandrine Sweeney.
Headed Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine.