How is it that this bold, loud, outspoken, high-spirited American woman helped to revolutionise the American dining scene?
Julia Child’s passion for her craft was palpable. She is credited, thanked, and adored for bringing French cuisine to average American homes, proliferating a love for France’s culinary wonders. She made iconic French dishes—which at the time seemed so foreign—accessible, relatable and understandable to everyday Americans accustomed to preparing simple American meals and TV-dinners.
Child introduced the intricacies, and splendour of French cooking with her endearing, authentic demeanour, unusually sing-songy voice, and whimsical character. Her one of a kind charisma captivated viewers. In no time, audiences were hooked and in love with Child. American women excitedly tested their culinary limits and embarked on a journey with Julia during each episode of her television program. Butter, spices, a plethora of flavours and a whole lot of technique was taught in easy to digest lessons; while it may have been daunting, she did her best to simplify. Thanks to Julia, a new-found appreciation and obsession for France took America by storm.
Her love affair with France sparked a life-long journey and a legacy respected and remembered to this day. Child devoted her life to promoting French culture and its spectacular food. Find out more about this revered author, TV personality and chef, here:
Read more: The Ultimate Guide To French Restaurants In The Klang Valley
She came from a good family
Julia Child was born Julia Carolyn McWilliams and grew up in a well-to-do family. Her father was a banker and landowner while her mother was a paper company heiress. Child received a great education and pampered upbringing.
Discriminated against due to her height
Julia Child was known for many things aside from her culinary prowess. One of which was her stunning height. At 6’ 2" she definitely stood out in a crowd. Unfortunately, her height caused issues throughout her life. In fact, she was denied entry into the military despite her desire to serve. Child applied for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) but was denied by both because she was too tall.
She was a spy
Child was determined to be of service to her country; she did not let one roadblock get her down. Back in the day Child worked as a secretary and then in 1941 for the American Red Cross in an effort to help the country during war-time. After which she continued in public service, steering the Department of Stenographic Services and Aircraft Warning Service. She secured a job as a senior typist with the Research Unit of the Office of War Information and moved into the role of junior research assistant with the Secret Intelligence Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which would later become what is known today as the CIA. Throughout her career with OSS, she was assigned to China and India, where she met her husband Paul Cushing Child.
She developed a shark repellant
During World War II and her time at the OSS, Child dabbled in alchemy and was key in creating a shark repellant used during missions for transporting important information for US government officials and intelligence agents.
Read more: Restaurateur Roberto Guiati On Thriving During Uncertain Times