Pay tribute to Julia Child
Julia Child helped bring the intricacies of French cuisine to American home cooks through television series and books. She died Friday in her sleep three days before what would have been her 92 birthday.
It's not an overstatement to say she was probably one of the most influential figures in American culture in the last century, instrumental in changing how Americans looked at cooking and dining.Btw . . . she reportedly LOVED the "save the liver" sketch on SNL.
I had the distint honor of shaking Julia's hand in her very own kitchen in Cambridge. I was there meeting her Assistant, who was doing some consulting work for me. Julia arrived back from a trip, was extremely cordial, easily engaged in pleasantries, and made me feel welcome in her home.Meeting her was extraordinary. She was a living legend. She inspired me to become a better cook; not to be afraid to try anything in the kitchen. I owe her a debt of thanks! Merci, Julia!! The world is going to miss you.
Christina , Arlington, MA
Sadly, I really only know Julia Child through Dan Akroyd's hilarious impersonation of her on Saturday Night Live. I believe I'm not alone.
It was in the late innings of a Sox game at Fenway in July 1991--a week before my wedding--when I noticed her familiar face enjoying the game over a cold beer--or two. Having done the same myself for most of the game, I went over to her, introduced myself, told her of my upcoming marriage, and let her know how much my fiancee admired my cooking and that she was a big reason for it. For some inexplicable reason she asked me what my fiancee's religion was. I have no idea why Julia asked me that (the beer may have had something to do with it), but when I responded she was Armenian Apostolic Julia appropriately noted, "Oh, they like those grapeleaves and things!" It was hilarious and a great memory that I still recount to friends, trying in vain to imitate here voice when I do it. I still have the autographed ticket stub at home. She'll be missed.
I remember one day in the seventies eating at Durgin Park with a friend. I barely had my license and the city was an exciting frontier. I noticed Julia eating seafood while I had prime rib at an adjacent table. As she was leaving she musically inquired how I was going to finish such a large portion. I replied that prior meals were skipped in preparation. She was engaging, jovial, polite, and helpful in person and in TV and in the cookbook I still use.
I taught myself to cook just using cookbooks, and hers are fabulous. I went to see her give a talk after her book "The Way To Cook" came out and was just so impressed with how down to earth she was. She was just so funny and real. I then met her at a book signing and she was just as sweet in person. I will miss her!
Julia's Mastering the Art, Vol. I, taught me the difference between just cooking and creating. I still have my original copy, much mended and thumbed, and to this day I still use the techniques and presentations she taught me.
Ruth , Indianapolis
About 10 years ago, I volunteered to work the Governors Conference being held in Mass when Weld was in office. One of the main events was a special dinner being held at the State House for the Governors, their spouses, hangers on, etc. Ms. Child was an honorary chef for the evening and most of the "name" chefs of the City assembled to produce one of the dish options (Shire/Hammersley/Adams each doing a leg of lamb dish, three other high powered boston chefs doing a lobster dish, etc). And, pretty much without fail, members at the tables asked to sample "the dish that Ms. Child prepared". Of course she didn't cook anything as she was, gosh, 80 then or so. But, each of the chefs there just seemed to tickled to be working "for" her that evening. She was in attendence and was treated like a rock star by these leaders from all across the country and of course the other chefs as well. I think she might have opened the dinner with her signature "bon appitite" too. Just a real class lady.
Oh Julia you are going to be missed...you had great pizzaz and I do believe you enjoyed your cocktails!!
Babs, Beverly, Massachusetts
My earliest memories of my love of cooking came from watching Julia Child on TV. I would go to Nantasket beach and whip up a "culinary" creation with sand, water and pebbles in my plastic pail and try to imitate her wonderful style. A few years back, I had the pleasure of briefly meeting her at Tags in Porter Square where I was the housewares manager. She was a woman of poise and style and grace and she will be dearly missed.