Julia Child was one of the most famous American chefs of all time. She found her love for cooking somewhat late in life, but her ambition drove her to become the best at what she did. She was a teacher, a cookbook author and a television chef. She was the hero of housewives during her long career. She made difficult recipes simple and taught her fans to have a sense of humor about mistakes in the kitchen. Her cheery personality and her amazing skill made her America’s most beloved television chef.
Julia Child was born Julia McWilliams on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California. She was the eldest of three children born to John and Julia McWilliams. She went to school in San Francisco at the Katherine Branson school for girls and later enrolled at Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts in 1930, where she majored in history. She moved to New York after her graduation.
In 1941, Julia Child moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked on a volunteer basis as a research assistant for the Office of Strategic Services. Four years later, in 1945, she was sent to China, where she met and fell in love with her future husband, Paul Child, who also worked for the Office of Strategic Services. It has recently been revealed that during her time with the Office of Strategic Services, Julia Child acted as a spy and handled top-secret documents for the American government.
In 1948, the couple moved to Paris, France. While Julia and Paul Child were in Paris, Julia discovered that she had a passion for cooking. She enrolled in the world famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. When she finished her training, she joined up with two other female chefs, Simone Beck and Louisette Berthole and opened a small cooking school called L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes. The trio then began work on their now famous cookbook entitled “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
In 1961, Julia and Paul moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Soon after, Julia Child got word that the 800-page cookbook, that she had been working on for years with her friends, was finally going to be published. While Julia was promoting her new book, she did a television show that showed her cooking an omelet. Of course, people loved her and she was offered her own show on WGBH in Boston.
Starting in 1962, Julia’s hit show, The French Chef was broadcast locally. It wasn’t long before her show was being broadcast nationwide. She went on to star on several cooking shows and she authored several more cookbooks. The kitchen where many of her shows were filmed is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Julia Child’s beloved husband, Paul died in a nursing home in Massachusetts in 1994. Julia continued making appearances on cooking shows, despite her loss. She died at the age of 91 of kidney failure. She is now a legend among television chefs.
Notable Awards and Honors Given to Julia Child
First Woman Elected Into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame (1993)
Legion d’Honneur (2000)
George Foster Peabody Award (1964)
Emmy Award (1966)
Julia Child Biography, retrieved 8/15/09, biography.com/articles/Julia-Child-9246767?part=0
Julia Child Biography, retrieved 8/15/09, notablebiographies.com/Ch-Co/Child-julia.html