Julia Child, chef, author, and television personality, was born on August 15, 1912, so today would be her 100th birthday. (She died on August 13, 2004.) She brought French cooking to an American audience with wit and exuberance. No one who saw her cooking show can forget her distinctive flutey voice and her cheerful approach to any kitchen challenge.
Too tall at 6′ 2″ to serve in the WACS or the WAVES, Julia McWilliams joined the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) during World War II, dealing with intelligence information in India, Ceylon, and China. It was in the OSS that she met her husband, Paul Child. When Paul was posted to France after the war, Julia discovered French cuisine, and decided she wanted to learn to cook the dishes she enjoyed so much.
After a decade of learning and teaching, she published Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961. It opened a new world of fine cuisine to an American audience, and her PBS television show further spread the joy of cooking Julia-style.
If you would like to try mastering the art of French cooking yourself, you can check out Julia Child’s magnum opus from the Orland Library. The library also has Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, full of tips and tricks from a lifetime of cooking, and a biography of Julia Child. On DVD the library has Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, as well as the delightful movie Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. We also have both books the movie was based on, Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France, by Julia herself.
Posted by Nancy. Bon appetit!