This Saturday, August 15th, would have been Julia Child’s 103rd birthday.
Any chef worth his/her salt knows who this legendary, remarkable woman is and her profound contribution to the culinary world.
“Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?” – Julia Child
Perhaps you watched your mother thumb through the seemingly endless pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, unable to decide on a dessert and then making five because it’s Monday and life is too short to only have one dessert on a Monday. Or maybe you remember watching The French Chef, her award-winning cooking show that charmed America and liberated millions of minds from the resigned belief that dinner was going to be a another frozen meal zapped into a lukewarm putty. With her warbling voice, towering figure, cheerful disposition, and genuine love and passion for food and life it is little wonder that she continues to captivate us, as evidenced by the fact that Mastering the Art of French Cooking is still in print or the 2009 feature film Julie & Julia.
-a little history-
- August 15, 1912 – Born Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, California
- 1942 – Joins the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) after being declined from the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) due to her height
- September 1, 1946 – Marries Paul Cushing Child in Lumberville, Pennsylvania
- 1961 – Alfred A. Knopf publishes Mastering the Art of French Cooking
- August 13, 2004 – Passed in Montecito, California. Her last meal was French onion soup
“You learn to cook so that you don’t have to be a slave to recipes. You get what’s in season and you know what to do with it.” – Julia Child
Julia Child believed in using fresh, wholesome ingredients. She firmly stood by her belief in using moderate amounts of butter during a time when low-no fat diets and margarine were on the rise (it seems she was on to something). The mistakes she made and wisdom she shared on her TV show taught audiences the importance of embracing all aspects of life, including the messy bits. In a fast-paced high stress world, her infectious laughter continues to be a boisterous reminder that sometimes the best thing to do is pause and laugh. If you have never made one of her creations before pick a recipe below, make a special trip to the market, and start an incredible new journey this weekend.
“Learn how to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun.” – Julia Child
Bon anniversaire and bon appetite!