Since August 15th is coming up fast, we couldn’t think of a better topic for this week’s blog post than an early birthday tribute to Julia Child, whose passion for French cuisine in books and on television made her a household name in the U.S. from the early 1960s through the 1990s. Let's dive into some fun facts, shall we?
• Julia didn’t learn how to cook until adulthood. During World War II, Julia joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and initially worked as a typist, but her education & experience led to her becoming a research assistant, eventually helping developers of a shark repellent that was needed to make sure that curious sharks wouldn’t accidentally explode sea mines intended for German U-boats. It’s no soufflé, but it’ll do for your first stab in the kitchen!
• It wasn’t until she met and married her husband Paul Child that Julia took an interest in food and cooking. It was her first meal in Rouen, France that so transfixed her that she enrolled in the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school soon thereafter and continued her studies with private instruction from master chefs. Looks like she could, uh, use a bit more...practice.
• Despite the way that Mastering the Art of French Cooking catapulted her to fame, Julia didn’t actually come up with the idea to write a French cookbook for the American market; it was her friends Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle who were already working on the classic and invited Julia to work with them on it. How do you say "eat my dust, chumps" in French? Ah, yes:
• Julia’s actual home kitchen was the set of three of her cooking shows: In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, Baking With Julia, and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home with Jacques Pépin. It was designed by her husband Paul and built in their Cambridge, Massachusetts home in 1961. We can’t say we’re not a little envious of that much counter space!
• Julia has her own rose! Known in the UK as the Absolutely Fabulous rose, the Julia Child rose was bred by Tom Carruth in 2004. The cultivar features a small round bush with glossy, bright green foliage and blooms in clusters of buttery, golden flowers all season long.
Happy birthday, Ms. Child!
That’s it for this week. We have some fun stuff in the works, so be sure to come back next week!
Peace, love, and noms,