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Posted October 1, 2010
Julia shines in these selections from her legendary PBS Show
This was a holiday gift for my husband that was a hit with the whole family (my kids are both in their 20s). Although Julia "limits" herself to French cooking/French dishes, recall that this WAS rocket science compared with a lot of American cooking in the early 1960s (instant jello, instant oatmeal, marshmallow everything, vegetables salted beyond recognition).
Julia shines through as an opinionated, strong personality who has rigorously tested her recipes and techniques, and presents the viewer with many years' worth of wisdom. Her show follows a logical progression of recipe/method to achieve wonderful, hearty French dishes. Because few of the dishes take the allotted 30 minutes to cook to completion, she has the featured dish in several stages of development (just like Martha Stewart or any other gourmet TV cook) so viewers can see how the dish progresses.
Julia's sense of humor is rampant. After preparing 4 recipes of sauteed/fried potatos, she makes a comment about how much better they are than anything from the "dirty dog wagon" on the street. We howled with laughter.
Anyone who wants to cook some of the signature dishes (Beef Bourginon, Roast/trussed chicken, coq au vin) can learn a lot from watching Julia's show... keeping in mind she teaches traditional French techniques. There's no butter substitute, fake sugar, rice flour or wasabi in anything here. Butter, oil and cream are used liberally. That's how she learned it 60 years ago in France.
Be sure to watch Julia wrestling with lobsters, explaining all the different grades of chicken and not measuring many ingredients. She loves cooking and radiates that glow. It's marvelous to watch a passionate person do what they love to do!
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Posted October 1, 2010
The French Chef Continues to Inspire and Entertain
Julia Child single-handedly changed the way America thought about food. These humble, early French Chef episodes point to the climate in America in the 1960s, when frozen TV dinners were all the rage, and cooking was fast becoming a lost art. Julia herself said that she was an unlikely TV celebrity, but felt that her audience could really produce wonderful, satisfying culinary results at home if they follow her adaptations of classic French cuisine. All of her legendary amusing pitfalls can be found in these early PSB broadcasts, and some of her demonstrations result in less than five-star dishes, but these aspects are irrelevant. One watches the French Chef to see Julia in her element, to revisit the classic dishes, and to be duly inspired. If one is entertained in the process, all the better! To the modern foodie, these episodes remain relevant, and reestablish Julia Child as the ultimate food pedagogue.
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Posted July 29, 2009
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