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The Cookstr Weekly: Celebrating Julia Child’s 100th Birthday

August 14, 2012

Julia Child’s 100th Birthday!
Julia Child, a towering figure on the culinary front for more than 40 years, turned the art of French cooking into prime-time television entertainment and taught a generation weaned on can-opener casseroles how to cook fine food. With her ground-breaking books, Mastering the Art of French Cooking I and II, and her 10-year run as the exuberant host of the PBS television series, The French Chef, Julia demystified French cuisine in a way that had not been done before. As revolutionary as Mastering was, it was Julia’s simultaneous debut as a television cook that took the country by storm and solidified her fame. An unlikely star with her imposing height and wonderfully distinctive warbly voice, Julia was a self-described natural ham, as you can see by watching clips of Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. “I fell in love with the public, the public fell in love with me, and I tried to keep it that way,” said Julia later in her life. Julia Child died at the age of 91 in August 2004, and August 16 marks the 100th anniversary of her birth. Check out Cookstr’s Pinterest board for more memories of Julia. 
Bon appetit! 

More Julia Child Recipes from Cookstr:

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home

Julia Child and Jacques Pepin were devoted friends, sharing a good-natured reverence, as well as their devotion to French cooking, that gave them true chemistry in the kitchen. Jacques and Julia don’t always agree on techniques, but their shared love of food comes through in every episode of Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. Here’s a few of our favorite moments.

 

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Sampler
Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Sampler

Julia in the Headnotes
Julia Child influenced her contemporaries as well as chefs and home cooks for generations to follow. Here are a few Cookstr chefs’ memories of Julia’s cooking.
Chicken Salad Nicoise with Big-Flavor Vinaigrette by Steven Raichlen: “This salad recalls one of the most memorable meals I ever had: lunch with Julia Child at her hillside home in Grasse in the south of France. The moment my wife and I arrived, we were put to work: chopping onions, slicing tomatoes, washing lettuce. We soon sat down to a magnificent salade niçoise, which we ate alfresco. In this recipe pepper-seared chicken replaces the traditional tuna. The vinaigrette uses chicken stock in place of most of the olive oil for flavor with less fat.”
 
Green Beans Sauteed with Wild Mushrooms by Peggy Knickerbocker: “I love the delicate, French haricots verts, buts if you can’t find them, use small green beans. Julia Child always suggested cooking them in massive amounts of water, or you can steam them, if you prefer. Americans tend to like a bit of crunch to their beans while the French generally prefer them cooked a little more; I like them somewhere in between.”
 
French-Style Bread by James Beard: “French bread, as we all know, has been praised and prized above all other breads in the world for its distinctive crumb, crisp crust, and superb flavor. However, the carefully controlled preparation of it in commercial bakeries is difficult to duplicate in one’s own kitchen. If you are ready for the challenge, you should search out a recipe that is as complete as the one developed by Julia Child and Simone Beck for Volume 2 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Their method seems tremendously complex but it is great fun to follow through to the final goal (and once mastered, not difficult to do again); the loaves are startlingly good and genuinely French.”
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