Julia Child was an inspiration to me as I was learning to cook. I first became aware of her when I was about 11 years old and happened to see one of her old shows, “Dinner at Julia’s”. I was fascinated. Although I didn’t really learn to cook until many years later, I always remembered her down-to-earth approach and accessible kitchen wisdom.
August 15th is the 97th anniversary of her birth. Although Julia died in 2004, her spirit lives on in the cooking of millions of people around the world, including mine. In fact, my typical sign off on this website (“Bon Appétit and Enjoy”) is a nod to Julia. The popular Nora Ephron film “Julie and Julia” tells the intertwining stories of Julia Child and Julie Powell, a young office worker who cooks every recipe in Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year and blogs about her experience (I must confess that I haven’t had the chance to see it yet but plan to soon). To read the original blog by Julie Powell, check out http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/2002/08/25.html
Bon Appétit magazine has posted a menu with recipes to celebrate Julia’s birthday: Happy Birthday Julia! The menu includes a Pissaladière Niçoise (a savoury French tart), chicken sautéed with herbes de provence, ratatouille, salad and Reine de Saba (a chocolate and almond cake) for dessert. For another discussion of what cooks are doing to celebrate Julia’s life, visit Chowhound.com – Julia Child’s Birthday Dinner.
If you’re interested in cooking some of Julia’s iconic dishes or learning more about her life, some great books she’s written/co-written include:
- The Way to Cook
- Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom
- Mastering the Art of French Cooking (with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle)
- Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (with Jacques Pepin)
- My Life in France (with Alex Prud’homme – the ‘Julia’ portions of the movie were based on this book)
As Julia would say: “Bon Appétit!” and Enjoy!