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Julia Child--In Memoriam


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I went to Julia's alma mater, Smith College, and met her at reunion once. My friends and I crashed a private party at the Art Museum and crept up on her just to meet her during an obviously private conversation with her old school chums. We said hello and she was extremely gracious to a bunch of star-struck 20-somethings. She had the reputation in the Dining Services department of being just the best to work with - funny, poised, and generous to all. And damn, was she TALL :smile:

Those old French Chef shows where she would use her "impeccably clean" towel will live forever as will the legacy of 50+ years of teaching us to eat and live well.

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Thank you. May the next stage of your journey be as rewarding for you and your past stage was for us. We miss you, and we wish you your well-earned rewards.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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From the AP:

``She was more than a pioneer, a legend or a giant. She's the rock that started the avalanche that changed the way America eats,'' said Brooke Johnson, president of the Food Network. The food and cooking channel on Aug. 22 will air a recently completed documentary on Child, Johnson said.


*Mods: move this if appropriate.

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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I recieved phone calls from no less than 6 people today after it was announced, but really, I can't say it any better than Chef Jacquy did in class today - "She will be missed." Then, he smiled and said we would play with a lot of butter today in her honor.

And so we did.


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Julia's Legacy...We All Owe Her

When I was 5, just learning to read, I was thumbing through a tv guide and saw that channel 2 in Boston was running a new show called "The Fire Chief." I tuned in expecting burning houses and fire engines, but to my surprise there was a funny sounding lady hacking away at a duck making something called Canard A L'Orange. What the heck was this? Certainly not a show about a fire chief- but it did spark my flames. My mother told me it was "The French Chef." Ahh.

I watched Julia for years and learned how to make Crepes Suzette, Boeuf Bourguignon and so much more. Early 1960's were a cuisine wasteland in our household. A typical dinner was Swanson's frozen chicken, Birds Eye frozen peas, and instant mashed potatoes. Fresh garlic? What was that? Garlic was a powder or a salt. The only herbs we used were dried oregano and basil. Pepper mills for fresh ground pepper? No way If your recipe called for wine you used that Holland House stuff in the supermarket or grape juice. If it called for lemon you used ReaLemon.

Julia changed that. She was the standard bearer for fine cooking techniques using fresh, wholesome ingredients.

Emeril brays about using a hundred cloves of garlic. Julia made Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic decades before him. Rachael Ray is famous for her 30 minute meals. Julia had shows titled "[ ] Dinner for Four in Half an Hour" -- Insert -- Fish, Steak, Veal or Pork, Ham, Chop, Chicken and Swordfish. Martha Stewart likes to be called the Queen of Entertaining but Julia gave us Dinner Party: First Course, Dinner Party: Main Course, Dinner Party: Meringue Dessert. Well I can't really fault Emeril, Rachael or Martha. We all owe Julia.

I will miss her, but will never forget her pearls of wisdom: You don't need a fancy fish poacher to boil a salmon; use a washtub. You can form pastry shells of different shapes by putting the dough on upside-down pans. Learn where the meat comes from. Never use a wine in cooking that you wouldn't drink.

I'll also miss her sense of humor... which lives on in some of the titles of her shows: Cooking Your Goose; Introducing Charlotte Malakoff; Feasting on the Remains (about leftovers); Artichokes from Top to Bottom; Asparagus from Tip to Butt; and my favorite: Speaking of Tongues.

Julia and I share a birthday, August 15, which is this Sunday, and that's always been a special thing to me. For my birthday present this year, I would like the Food Network or whomever owns the rights to "The French Chef" series to re-broadcast it so the next generation can have exposure to this sparkling gem.

Bon Appetit, Julia.

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Well, it is a sad day in the world of cooking, socialization, wine and the culinary arts.

An Icon has left us.

Having loved her books, her many shows and having had the priviledge to sit across the table from her twice in my life, I mourn the loss of Julia Child. Personally, she was one of the people who inpsired me to join the food and wine business.

She also made me realize:

the simpler the better, good ingredients are essential, hang the presentation as long as it tasted good, the wine should be fine and the folks around the table should have a lively conversation!

I will miss her and her influence.

The current world may hang on Emeril's $%^&* Bangs but

"Bon Apetit", in that lovely voice, is much better for my ear.

All of the above, IMHO.



I have never met a miserly wine lover
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I just found out the sad news. It is good to know that she died peacefully in her home.

I literally grew up watching her shows and she is the only reason I have no fear in the kitchen.

May God bless you, Julia Child. You brought happiness to many, many people.

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I've been in meetings out of town all day and my wife told me a couple of hours ago. So sad.

She is an inspiration and will be greatly missed. What an amazing person who lived life to the fullest.

Bon Appetite and may you rest in peace.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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One of the greatest honors of my cooking career was preparing a dinner at the James Beard House in honor of the restaurant that I was working at getting accepted into Relais & Chateaux. The most exciting news was the Julia would be there for dinner that night. After the meal, Julia stood up and gave a short speech. Then all the chefs cooking that night got to meet with her personally for a few minutes and have our pictures taken with her. I had my picture of me with her made into a plaque that hangs over my desk at my resauraunt.

Bon Appetite, Julia.

Barnstormer BBQ

Rt. 9W

Fort Montgomery NY

845 446 0912

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My second "Grandmother" has now passed. :sad: First Kate Hepburn...now Julia.

OH, MY GOD, that's exactly my thought!

Kate Hepburn and Julia have been my heroes since I was a little girl!

I wanted to say how much PBS and local television meant to Julia.

She never needed the celebrity chefdom of recent times.

She just wanted to help local TV.

She just wanted to help local farmers.

Buy fresh, buy local.

Watch local, etc.

Get my drift?

She was real.

She was one of us.

Not a Hollywood movie star.

Not a big celebrity type.

We all identified with her.

Local TV.

Local foods.


Philly Francophiles

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i'm not sad at all. she had a long and great life, and did as much as anyone can be expected to do. i'm not mourning in the least; rather just taking a minute to say, damn, nice job.

so in her honor tonight I roasted a chicken even though it's august. and i made potato leek soup too, because what the hell, why not.

peace out, julia. your books are still my bibles.

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I used to watch her with my mom and dad. My dad chopped his finger trying to cut like her- we sat there and watched what she did when her souffle fell (it happens!).I bought her cookbooks as a teenager (and recently replaced some too). I remember the first time I met her. It was 1989 and I was working at Lark Creek Inn (the restaurant had just opened). I was working the wood burning oven, when this tall (and unmistakeable voice) woman asked what I was cooking. I told her then that she meant a lot to me- that she had helped introduce me to the food world. Her reply was that she just loved to see so many young people cooking (and young woman too). Her phrase was actually that "it was just lovely".

The news today made me very sad; she was a national treasure.

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Another thing that I loved about her was that she was very funny and quite self effacing. In both interviews and her cooking shows she had a lighthearted approach to the whole thing-both life and cooking.

I was thinking today about the really, really funny sketch that Dan Akroyd did on Saturday night live. He had this rediculous "Julia" voice and was wearing a dress and an apron. He chopped open his hand during the skit and was going on (as Julia) about how glad he was he did that. It was hysterical.

I was wondering what Julia thought about it, or if she had seen it at all and a bit of googling later-lo and behold there was the answer:

In a 1978 ''Saturday Night Live'' skit, comedian Dan Akroyd pitched his voice up an octave, donned an apron and put his Julia Child caricature through a kitchen disaster while extolling the virtues of chicken livers even after having ''cut the dickens out of my finger.''

The gag still makes her laugh.

''That was awfully funny,'' Child said. ''We turned on the TV one night and there it was -- someone looking like me yelling, 'Save the liver!'''

That's someone that you HAVE to admire.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I saw that SNL, and I'd never seen Julia before except in the briefest of glimpses. Dear Lord, it was funny, if only because I knew he was nailing it. I can't explain how I knew except my roots in comedy are deeper than my roots in cooking. I knew it was so good that I am not even surprised to hear that she loved it.

The spurting blood, the useless prop phone on the wall, the melodrama of collapsing...every little bit was hysterical, even though I'd never seen a single episode of (as TrishCT called it upthread) "The Fire Chief."

Believe it or not, that skit was what really put Julia on my map. When I told my mom about it, and she told me my uncle had done "Julia and Julia" (he did "Mickey and Julia") long before blogs existed. My uncle the engineer, a talented man who can do anything but spell, used to watch along with Julia and make everything she did. By golly, he burned through those shows like cordwood.

Might they be available on Netflix sometime? Wouldn't that be great?

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I am reminded of a song that was written when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959. Someone wrote and recorded a tribute song to them and with apologies to the author I'd like to paraphrase a couple of lines:

"Julia's cooking for God now,

a banquet in the sky,

Gee, we're going to miss you

Everybody sends their love."

See will be missed.

Edited by BobL (log)
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IMHO, I think Miz Julia herself would say,"What are you all sad for? We've had many, many hours together, and I'm in a peaceful place...surrounded by all my friends, loved ones, and the people I've always wanted to quiz. Be happy for me, for I lived long and was happy to do what I loved for half a century---and I feel your happiness for me."

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article from Napa on Julia .. Keller and Ash ...

"She's the cornerstone of everything that we experience today .. . the food and the product availability and the confidence to cook it," said Thomas Keller, chef/owner of the French Laundry in Yountville. "If you define success as having had an impact on people, her success is unparalleled."
"I think she made an impression on me because it was all about having fun and knowing something about what you're doing," said John Ash, culinary director for Fetzer Vineyards. "It wasn't any prissy, home economics deal. She would take a knife and whack it all up."
Child, who was 91, made her last pilgrimage to Copia within the past six months. "She really wanted to see the gardens," said Linda Carucci , Copia's new curator for food arts. "The only people who knew she was here was the director (Peggy Loar) and the guy who drove her around in a golf cart."

Child remained amazingly vibrant and sharp until about a month ago, when her health began to slide.  "Peggy and I drove down to have lunch with her last month, but she was not well enough to even eat lunch herself," Carucci said.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I just had to post here and share my feelings with all of you.

I heard the news this morning - I was driving to town and turned on the radio - NPR - where the speaker was in the middle of talking about Julia. Then he said "she was so unpretentious" and I thought, "was"? "WAS"? Then I felt like crying (still do).

I admired Julia for so much more than her cooking and teaching ability. She was utterly unpretentious when she could have been a total snob. She greatly supported public television. She never wanted to endorse cookware or restaurants or anything commercial. Now that's class.

She donated her house to our shared Alma Mater, Smith College. She donated her cookbooks to Harvard. And she donated her kitchen to the Smithsonian.

She gave me the courage to try to cook. I figured if someone as talented as Julia could goof up in the kitchen, maybe I'd be OK too!

Most importantly she was gracious to everyone. I absolutely hate Martha Stewart who I hear is a very rude snob (she refered recently to her public as "the little people" - can anyone imagine Julia saying that?) ... but Julia was gracious enough to have her on her show. Now that's real class.

I would highly recommend her biography, "Appetite for Life", I read it a few years ago, wonderful book.

Julia, how sorely I will miss you, but what you stood for lives on in my heart.


"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"


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article worth a look:A BUTCHER, A BAKER, A MOVER & SHAKER

It was a first lunch-hundreds of years after The Last Supper-that changed the course of history. Julia Child remembers it well: sole poached in white wine and draped in a cream sauce, with oysters on the side, nestled in their half shells.

It was 1948. Paris. Paul and Julia Child, an American couple, had come by boat for a stint in the Foreign Service, and their first lunch became the impetus for Mrs. Child's culinary coup of the American diet. "I couldn't get over it," recalls Mrs. Child, nearly 50 years after the event. "I'd never had such food in my life." Coming from a diet of "Middle western, ladies-magazine type of food," she found the French stuff heady and it filled her with delight and wonder. What began simply as love at first bite turned into a lifelong affair with French cooking and French food.

Love at first bite ... beautiful article ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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