- NAME: Julia Child
- OCCUPATION: Chef, Television Personality, Journalist
- BIRTH DATE: August 15, 1912
- DEATH DATE: August 13, 2004
- EDUCATION: Katherine Branson School for Girls, Smith College, Cordon Bleu
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Pasadena, California
- PLACE OF DEATH: Montecito, California
- Maiden Name: Julia Carolyn McWilliams
- Full Name: Julia Child
Best Known For
TV chef and author Julia Child adapted complex French cooking for everyday Americans, with her groundbreaking cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Julia Child - Legacy (1:37)
Julia Child - Mini Biography (4:11)
Author Julie Powell describes the appeal of Julia Child's cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and shares some of her favorite recipes from the book, including Julia's beef bourguignon.
Author Julie Powell talks about Julia Child's kitchen and its exhibition at the Smithsonian, as well as Julia Child's relationship with Paul Child.
Author Julie Powell talks about Julia Child's influence as a chef, her legacy as a feminist, and how she helped changed the way americans thought about food.
A short biography on Julia Child's groundbreaking cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and her television show, "The French Chef," which changed the face of cooking in America.
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Julia's advice was to eat in moderation. "I would rather eat one tablespoon of chocolate russe cake than three bowls of Jell-O," she said.
Despite her critics, Julia remained a go-to reference for cooking advice. In 1993, she was rewarded for her work when she became the first woman inducted into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame. In November 2000, following a 40-year career that has made her name synonymous with fine food and a permanent among the world's most famous chefs, Julia received France's highest honor: the Legion d'Honneur. And in August 2002, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History unveiled an exhibit featuring the kitchen, where she filmed three of her popular cooking shows.
Child died in August 2004 of kidney failure at her assisted-living home in Montecito, two days before her 92nd birthday. Child had no intentions of slowing down, even in her final days. "In this line of work...you keep right on till you're through," she said. "Retired people are boring."After her death Child's last book, the autobiographyMy Life in France, was published with the help of Child's great nephew, Alex Prud'homme. The book, which centered on how Child discovered her true calling, became a best seller.
Julia's memory continues to live on, through her various cookbooks and her syndicated cooking show. In 2009, a film directed by Nora Ephron entitled Julie & Julia hit theaters. The movie, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, chronicled several aspects of Child's life, as well as her influence on aspiring cook Julie Powell. For her performance, Streep won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, and received an Academy Award nomination.
Powell later described Child's television role as "magical" and groundbreaking. "Her voice and her attitude and her playfullness ... it's just magical," Powell said. "And you can't fake that; you can't take classes to learn how to be wonderful. She just wanted to entertain and educate people at the same time. Our food culture is the better for it. Our stomachs are the better for it."
August 15, 2012 marks what would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday. In celebration of Child's centennial, restaurants nationwide took part in a Julia Child Restaurant Week, featuring Child's recipes on their menus.
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As a nation that loves to eat, we hold food, and the people who prepare it, close to our hearts. Though Julia Child was the original celebrity chef and cookbook personality, the boom in reality TV has led to a renewed interest in all the people who turn food into art. From cooking show competitors to chefs to the stars, we love to watch these talented individuals whip up all kinds of delicious dishes. To learn more, sift through this group of Famous Chefs, which includes chocolatier Jacques Torres, classic culinarian Julia Child, gourmet guru Alton Brown, "semi-homemade" cook Sandra Lee, Gordon Ramsay, Rachael Ray and many more.
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