Child - Nom de plume of pioneer TV chef Julia Child when she
appeared on her now classic PBS cooking program THE FRENCH CHEF which debuted on
February 11, 1963 on WGBH in Boston (hundreds of these programs still air on the
TV Food Network). With her warbling voice and her gusto for smashing poultry and
the like during preparation, Julia Child popularity soared and soon fanned the
flames for a French Revolution in America. Her trademark signoff became "This is
Julia Child. Bon appetit!"
The 6-foot, 2-inch Child was delightfully parodied on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE by
comedian Dan Aykroyd on December 9,1978 when the zany comedian in the guise of
Ms. Child severed an artery with a sharp knife and still continued to cook
amidst a shower of blood spraying about the kitchen set. A National Enquirer
poll (12/23/97) asked 100 red-blooded guys around the country "Who would you
rather be married to-sexy Pamela Lee Anderson or great chef Julia Child?" Three
out of four said "Give me Julia Child." Julia Child produced a Microsoft CD-ROM
"Julia Child: Home Cooking With Master Chefs" (1997).
In 2001, Julia Child donated the 14-by-20-foot kitchen from her Cambridge,
Massachusetts home (and its 1,200 items) to the Smithsonian Institute in
Washington, DC. When the exhibit featuring her kitchen opened in August 2002 at
the National Museum of American History, Child remarked "I am very proud indeed
that the Smithsonian wants my kitchen. Through this gift to the Smithsonian, if
I can influence Americans to 'keep in the kitchen' and make it a real family
room and a real part of their lives, I will have succeeded beyond hope."
Child was the author of several best selling books that "demystified" French
cooking for the American public. Her books included the 734-page "Mastering the
Art of French Cooking" (1961), "The French Chef Cookbook" (1968), "From Julia
Child's Kitchen" (1975), "Julia Child & Company" (1978), and "Cooking with the
Master Chefs" (1993).
Born Julia Carolyn McWilliams on August 15 1912 in Pasadena, California, Julia
Child died in her sleep from kidney failure at 2:50 a.m. Thursday August 12,
2004 at her home in Santa Barbara, California. Julia's diplomat husband Paul
Child, who worked for the OSS during World War II (as did Julia), died a few
year earlier in 1994.
TRIVIA NOTE: The cooking show TO THE QUEEN'S
TASTE/CBS/1948-49 featured the chef Dione Lucas (the Julia Child of her day) who
broadcast from the Manhattan restaurant, the Cordon Bleu.
A More Mature Julia
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