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									Julia ChildJulia Child
Before celebrity chefs like Emeril and Nigella came onto the culinary scene, Julia Child was teaching America how to flambé. When her groundbreaking television program, The French Chef, came into our kitchens, thousands of viewers tuned in to watch Julia flip crepes, blanch beans, and sear steaks, and to hear her signature sign-off: "Bon appétit!"

* Read the biography

* Visit our Classic Cookbooks Book Club for a free discussion of Julia Child's work and more

Fact File

Julia Child
Also Known As:
Julia McWilliams (maiden name)
Current Home:
Santa Barbara, California
Date of Birth:
August 5, 1912
Place of Birth:
Pasadena, California
Date of Death:
August 12, 2004
Place of Death:
Santa Barbara, California
B.A., Smith College, 1934; Le Cordon Bleu, 1950
Emmy Awards, 1965, 1996 and 1997; George Foster Peabody Award, 1965; Ordre de Mérite Agricole, 1967; Ordre de Mérite National, 1976; Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, 2000

The Best Book to Read First

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1, Author: 
								Julia Child.

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1
by Julia Child
You'll find a stained, smudged, dog-eared copy of this three-pound tome in almost any serious home cook's kitchen. With six pages on cassoulet and eight pages on omelettes, Mastering the Art of French Cooking may seem daunting at first -- but the purpose of all that text is to lead you, step by careful step, to the creation of something delicious. As Child wrote in the preface to the 1983 edition, "If you can read, you can cook." Bon appétit!

Kitchen Myth

A persistent story about Child is that she once dropped a whole chicken (in some versions it's a leg of lamb or a roast) during her television show, then picked it up off the floor and kept cooking, saying to the camera, "Remember, you are alone in the kitchen." It's not true. She did, however, once flip a potato pancake onto the stovetop, scooping it back into the skillet with the famous "alone in the kitchen" line.

A Chef's Story

A Rich Life

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child, Author: 
								Noel Riley Fitch.

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Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child
by Noel Riley Fitch
"This immensely readable biography will delight Child's legions of loyal fans," say our editors. "Even the most devoted may not know the fascinating details of her life before the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which appeared when she was 50."

*Read an excerpt
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								My Life in France, Author: 
								Julia Child, With Alex Prud'homme.

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My Life in France
by Julia Child, With Alex Prud'homme
In her own words, here is the captivating story of Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found her "true calling." Filled with beautiful black-and-white photographs and family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly.