This week the food world has been celebrating what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday on August 15th.
Julia is an icon when it comes to cooking. She is beloved for her quirky personality (see video below!) and knack for just understanding what good cooking is all about.
I find her to be personally inspiring as both a woman, wife and chef. She was a trailing spouse for her diplomat husband for years but that didn’t define her. She took charge of her own identity and forged a name for herself through cooking- at a time when celebrity chefs were not a dime a dozen.
She used her time abroad to educate herself, explore and try new things using the world of food as her medium- something that is accessible and universally understood by all. If you read My Life in France, I think you will get some valuable insight straight from Julia as to just how food connected her with herself and other people at a time when she was alone and vulnerable.
Julia was not afraid to make mistakes in the kitchen either. Just watch the episode of The French Chef when she flips the crepes- “The first one never turns out anyways, just throw it away!”- in order to understand her mindset. Sometimes I strive for perfection in the kitchen. Ok a lot of the time. That is crazy, unhealthy, who cares?! I have reminded myself so many times of Julia’s attitude toward cooking being a process, a time to be alone in the kitchen and learn as you go. It’s ok, take a deep breath…
In DC, the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History is celebrating her legacy with a two week long celebration that kicked off with a party on the 15th and will feature a sneak preview of her kitchen from Cambridge that has been off display since January 2012. Her large collection of copper cookware will finally be reunited with her kitchen later this year. There is also a branch new exhibition called ‘FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000’ that is the first of its kind for the museum. So take some time to pay homage to Julia, either in her kitchen or yours.