I never get tired of hearing the story of Julia Child. It is the ultimate case of someone going all in. It’s just amazing, when you look at the arc of her life and the never-ending joy she brought to an entire country.
Over the holidays, Hubbo and Number 1 Son and I watched an episode of the PBS series American Masters, “Julia! America’s Favorite Chef.” Weeks later, I’m still thinking about it.
I think about how Julia Child’s life erupted into a passion only after she had a failed career as a writer. I think about the fortunate moment that she and her husband Paul happened to have dinner at a restaurant in Normandy where the menu included sole meunière, the dish that famously captivated Julia so completely that she signed up for cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu. It was the first step toward her decade-long odyssey of writing the book that would launch her career: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was published when she was 49, and she would live another 43 years. Her life is a reminder that early birds don’t always get the worm—there are plenty of worms later on, if you work hard and follow your curiosity.
She was so, so natural in front of the camera. When she was wacky (and she often did hilarious and unpredictable things), it’s priceless.
We watched this by recording it on our DVR, so you may be able to catch it by recording the American Masters series. I don’t see a streaming source, but a DVD is available from Netflix (who are these troglodytes who won’t stream a classic documentary?) or Amazon.
If you have never seen an episode of The French Chef, the TV series that taught America how to cook in the French style, well, here’s 1964’s “Boeuf Bourguignon.”
The PBS site for the documentary offers all sorts of Juliana.
The recipes may be as good as the show, now that I think about it:
She is endlessly quotable, and endlessly inspiring: “The only time to eat diet food is when you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”