Julia Child was born in 1912 in Pasadena, California. She is best known for her career as an American chef (specializing in French cuisine) and as a T.V. personality. This past August 15th would have been her 105th birthday. Julia is a legend in my book and ranks high on my list of "Top 10 People Dead or Alive I Would Invite to a Dinner Party." Unbeknownst to many, Julia took 32 years to arrive at her culinary epiphany that led to her cooking career; she says that up until then, "she just ate."
Thanks to her husband, Paul Child, Julia became inspired to pursue the culinary arts dining with him in a restaurant in Rouen, France.
If anyone has ever watched one of Julia's cooking show reruns or indulged in an authentic French dish from one her multiple cookbooks, you can thank Julia's beloved husband.
I recently dedicated some time researching and getting to know Julia through a project I was assigned. The following are a collection of five facts and quotes from the endearing chef:
1. She had a successful career in the CIA
Many are aware that Julia was honored by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for her culinary success but few are aware that she also worked with the other CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). At the time, the CIA was known as the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) and while Julia was working for them, she devised a recipe for shark repellent that was used by the Navy.
2. "There is little in life that could not benefit from a little love, a little time, and a stick of butter."
Oh, Julia. You always have the right answer to solving problems.
3. Her husband quit his job to work with her.
Julia was always careful to refer to her cooking career as a "team" effort. She always used "we" rather than "I" when talking about her career. The two lovebirds had an intriguingly progressive relationship. In one of her cookbooks, Julia thanks Paul for being her "porter, dishwasher, official photographer, mushroom dicer and onion chopper, editor, fish illustrator, manager, taster, idea man, resident poet, and husband." Talk about a honey-do-list.
4. "Every woman should have a blowtorch."
I imagine a woman carrying a blowtorch would be much more effective than a keychain full of mace. Blowtorch bonus feature: you can't cook a creme brulee using mace.
5. She has received the highest civilian honors from the U.S. and France.
Julia, you were a badass in every possible way and deserve to be remembered as such.
I'd say it's time to do as Julia would do and load up on some butter, enjoy a French meal and eagerly await the upcoming ABC series that is going to be based on Julia's life in the CIA. Au Revoir!