ATTENTION ALL COOKS (beginners, intermediates, and experts)! A truly enjoyable movie based on a true story was released this weekend, Julie & Julia, which is well worth seeing, A+. It’s based on the lives of two women, Julia Child a legendary world-renowned chef, author, and television personality and Julie Powell, who wrote the original story.
I have been a devotee of Julia Child from the very first time I read her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, who from the very first day she appeared on television teaching all us cooks how to master French cuisine. She is an icon and became a household name in the lives of millions of Americans teaching us all we needed to know about preparing a perfect meal from beginning to end. She was the FIRST to demonstrate cooking on television. Those who have followed her have Julia Child to thank for opening the door, or should I say oven, to bringing the joy and love of cooking into their homes.
This film, Julie & Julia, was a nostalgic movie for me as I have so much respect and admiration for this lively, talented, energetic woman who spent eight of her middle age years writing a remarkable cookbook and then presenting herself to the public via national television to became world famous. In fact, the kitchen she used for her shows is now a permanent exhibit in its totality at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking was first published in 1961 and is now in its 49th printing. It became the “bible” for all cooks in the early sixties. During those years, home entertainment was centered around a fully prepared meal by the hostess and she usually fixed a recipe from Julia Child’s book. I still prepare many recipes from the book, my favorites are Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew in red wine, with bacon, onions and mushrooms). All the cooks I know who have her book have prepared Boeuf Bourguignon, and all of us are still proud of how perfect this beef stew turns out.
Julia Child was a superb teacher who taught and demonstrated with great enthusiasm the basic techniques that all cooks need to know such as; How to Measure Flour, How to Use a Knife, Chopping, Slicing, Dicing and Mincing, even How to Beat Egg Whites and many more.
I miss not seeing her on television and the enjoyment she brought to all of us with her wit, her antics, and hearing her say in that very recognizable voice, “Bon Appetit”. She made us feel that if she could be a wiz in the kitchen, so could we and she told us “Not to be afraid”. Thank you, Julia, for your dedication to the art of cooking and for entering our hearts and kitchens. A must see movie!