August 15 marks what would have been the 100th birthday of America’s favorite TV chef, Julia Child. In preparation for writing this blog, I recently watched the movie “Julie & Julia.” Not only do I now want my own copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” but I now want to travel to France just to eat sole meunière, the dish that inspired Julia Child to become the woman we all knew and loved. I’m unsure as to whether I fell more in love with the recipes featured (like those artichokes with hollandaise sauce or the chicken with cream and mushrooms), France (I’ve never passionately wanted to go to France before) or Julia Child herself after watching the movie.
Julia Child is obviously awesome for a number of reasons. She was the host of the first ever cooking show on PBS. Premiering in 1963, The French Chef not only ran nationally for ten years, it also won Peabody and Emmy awards, including the first Emmy Award for an educational program. Over the next five decades, Julia would grace our TV screens teaching us all about French cuisine and how accessible it really is to the everyday cook. I have distinct memories of watching her and Jacques Pepin cook, laugh and just enjoy each other’s company on their show. She also donated her Cambridge homekitchen to the Smithsonian Institute, in case you ever want to make a pilgrimage to that gastronomic mecca.
So join in on celebrating Julia’s centennial! You can follow PBS’ Pinterest board celebrating her birthday, follow tweets with #CookforJulia or cook a recipe out of her numerous cookbooks! Make sure to raise a glass tomorrow to the woman who changed the way we thought about food, who demystified it and taught us to enjoy each and every bite. As only Julia could say, "bYou +1'd this publicly. Bbbon appétit!”