Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

What's the deal with Julia Child


chef koo
 Share

Recommended Posts

JC was better than most of the schmucks on Food Network today.

No. JC was better than *ALL* the schmucks on Food Network today. She simply set the standard.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Way back in the 80’s, Julia Child wrote what I consider to be her best book “The Way To Cook”. She had already dispensed with the notion that North Americans didn’t know how to cook, so she wrote one for those of us who could. One of her many promotional stops was in Toronto. A local radio station held a contest for tickets and I got a pair.

Julia made Duck Three Ways, a recipe I had already practiced. The skinless breasts are sautéed and sliced into medallions then served with the legs, roasted in a dijon, crumb crust and a frisée salad with crispy duck skin lardons.

Julia was mesmerizing, totally in control and so formidable. Age had stooped her, but she still was bigger than anyone in that room. At one point she imperiously proclaimed that the knives weren’t sharp. When a paper touqued instructor presented her with another, she thumbed the edge, hurrumphed, threw it on the floor impatiently demanding another. That knife went on the floor too. Her highness, the goddess of French food was not amused. I’ll never forget the site of three sweating instructors feverishly sharpening knives for Julia while their students gleefully smirked from the viewing stand.

It was thrilling. I was meeting a rock star, a star chef before there were any others. Then it was over, pffffffttt! the air was let out and I got a little, innocuous chat time with her before she signed my copy of the cookbook.

To this day, “The Way To Cook” is my go to book for any challenging recipe. Every Christmas I make her Steam Roasted Goose dressed with Fois Gras stuffed prunes. Before I start one of her recipes, I detour to the front leaf, and smile a little smile at her autograph. I pictured her then, not the tired old lady with the curved back signing my book, but the towering Empress of the Kitchen, throwing knives and striking fear and doubt into the hearts of lesser chefs and, as it turned out, into the heart of a blogger named Julie.

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves."

- Carl Jung, Psychologist (1875 - 1961)

"Don't Play with your food."

- Parents, all over the world

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember when I got "The Way to Cook" for Christmas one year from my mom (who worked as a professional cook). I can safely say that it taught me how to cook. I knew some things from observing my mom, but that book taught me how to think about cooking. I don't know much about the history of cookbooks, but I've always regarded that as a milestone in American cookbookery. It wasn't just some recipes, it was a clear expression of how to think about cooking. It truly lived up to its title, doing what so few have been able to do by clearly establishing a path, not just showing you some choice posies from along the way. Only a visionary, but in complete control of her vision, could accomplish that. For that reason alone (one among many says me) she deserves her great stature.

nunc est bibendum...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...