A chef, an author, and a television personality who was the first woman with her own cooking TV show.
Born as Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, California.
At age 29, at the onset of World War II, Child wanted to enlist to the Women’s Army Corps, but she got rejected because of her height – six feet, two inches (1.88 m), so she joined the Office of Strategic Services as a research assistant. During her service and due to her position, she was sent to different places around the world, such as Sri Lanka and China, where she met her future husband, Paul.
Only after getting married, at the age of 32, Child started cooking.
Four years later, the couple moved to Paris, where Paul worked at the US embassy, and there Julia discovered her passion for cooking, especially for the French cuisine.
She attended the prestigious cooking school ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ and continued her studies with various master chefs.
With two other women she met at a cooking club, Child formed a cooking school in her kitchen – L’école des trois gourmandes (The School of the Three Food Lovers).
After returning to the US, the three wrote together a French cookbook for Americans – ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, aiming to make fine cuisine accessible. The book became a best-seller, and it is still in print to this day.
Child published more than 15 cooking books, starred in numerous television programs and established The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts.
She had a significant impact on the perception of fine cooking, made it fun and applicable to the American housewife.
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream”
More Interesting Anecdotes:
- The set of three of her TV shows was a replica of her own home kitchen.
- In Nora Ephron’s movie, ‘Julie & Julia’, the actress Meryl Streep played Julia Child’s character.