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Monday
Jul232012

Sweet Legacy: To Julia Child, on her 100th Birthday

This August 15, Julia Child would have been 100 years old. Wow. To celebrate a bit in advance, I thought I'd share some thoughts on why she continues to inspire me. Here goes.

For me, Julia Child is a fantastic illustration of a line from the classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show: "Don't Dream it, Be It."

With a manner and voice that was a whole lotta personality to handle, the thing that made Julia "work" is that she was authentic, and true to herself. Sure, she was tall, loud, had a funny voice, made mistakes. She owned it. 

She was who she was.

I heard a story once about Julia Child - I tried to find it online but I couldn't, so I am paraphrasing - a personal account of a fellow who, one evening, was cooking dinner for guests, and had a cooking question. On a lark, the group decided to call Julia Child - she was in the white pages, who'd a thunk it? - and not only did she answer, but guided them through the critical cooking moment before wishing them bon appetit and good luck. 

I just love that story, even if I have slightly warped it (if you know where to find the story please let me know!). You get the point. She was easy and accessible, and she was herself. She was engaged, and therefore, engaging to others. Her passion shone, and made others feel passion. That's a powerful thing to put out into the world, and her legacy continues to delight and inspire. 

For more wonderful accounts on Julia Child and how she has inspired others, visit the PBS website!

Reader Comments (2)

Jessie, You are so right. Julia was who she was. I absolutely loved Julia Child. I watched her on PBS when I was a little kid way before food network or cooking channel. Way before chefs were superstars. She was so real and I think that's what made her so appealing. I think that's why I am not scared to attempt things in the kitchen and am shocked when people are scared to even boil water. Julia made me see cooking is a real thing and mistakes happen. Just figure out how to fix it next time. Oh, I miss her. Thanks for reminding me!!!
July 25 | Unregistered CommenterC. Zuba
Yes, you are so right! Julia deserves all the kind words in the world. She was the first "celebrity chef" I watched on TV as a kid on PBS. She may have been different, not the conventional definition of beautiful--but she was smart, confident and most importantly, she was real, she could have been very well my grandma, or my neighbor, or the lady I see at the market each week. Julia made cooking "fancy" dishes at home very real and possible for the average person. I feel a whole lot better knowing that whenever I make a mistake in the kitchen that it is okay, and the dish may still be salvaged. (But that's not to say I never threw something out because it wasn't quite right!)
July 26 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

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