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MADAME WITH A LADLE: How Julia Child Introduced Haute French Cuisine to American Housewives

MADAME WITH A LADLE: How Julia Child Introduced Haute French Cuisine to American Housewives
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“You are the butter on my bread, the breath of my life!” This exquisite compliment is credited with the authorship of American Julia Child, a French culinary enthusiast, the woman who opened haute cuisine for US housewives, making it both common and loved.

Julia Child is known as a woman who devoted herself entirely to her beloved work, wrote books, recorded TV and radio programs, cooked tons of delicious and light dishes and became a culinary educator for many generations.

By the way, during all sorts of TV shows, the American used several quintals of butter. After all, this is one of the main ingredients of French cuisine.



Long appreciated in the world, French cuisine is considered both delicious and sophisticated. It traces its history back to the time of the Bourbons and was predicted to receive the status of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. French recipes are found in the court books of the monarchical dynasties of Europe, and in the works of world literature.

And in the middle of the last century, an enthusiast of French cuisine – a modest girl Julia – managed to make it public.

There are several versions of how a California native fell in love with French cuisine. According to one of them, she and her husband Paul, an employee of the US State Department, just moved to Paris. On the way, the couple have a snack in a small restaurant. The crispy egg-crusted halibut becomes the dish that turned Julia Child’s vision of cuisine in general.

Not that she never ate fried fish! But the morning catch of French fishermen, the freshest butter and eggs, an unusual bouquet of spices made her receptors flutter with pleasure. It was completely different from the dish she used to order in America.

According to another version, lunch at La Couronne restaurant in Rouen became a revelation for the future culinary star. Now they take excursions here, and on the menu of this institution, the seafood fillet is marked as a dish that inspired Julia Child.

It was 1948. It was not appropriate for a woman of her status and position to spend hours in the kitchen – there are helpers and servants for this. But Julia firmly tied the apron around her waist. Unraveling all the secrets of this notorious French cuisine was her fixed idea.

Wine cock, burgundy beef, bouillabaisse, deep-fried frog legs and stuffed snails – Julia Child cooked everything. By the way, she also bothered to learn French from cookbooks.




At 36, Julia Child decides to take a chef course at the most expensive Parisian school, Le Cordon Bleu. She absolutely did not know anything and did not have a culinary talent, but she was eager to learn all the subtleties of French cuisine. Husband Paul Child supported all her endeavors, and it gave her confidence.

“Now I knew that French cuisine was for me. I could not recover from delight before how delicious it was. It was a delight for me,” said Julia Child.

After leaving school, she, together with two students, opens her own educational institution – L’Ecole de Trois Gourmandes. At the same time, she begins a difficult and exciting journey lasting nine years – she collects recipes for a book, cooks according to them and tastes the most interesting dishes.

Mastering the Art of French Cuisine is rapidly gaining popularity in America. 524 recipes, collected and adapted by Julia Child, find their fans overseas. Young housewives learn to cook crème brulee, experienced ones – learn the recipe for the very bœuf bourguignon, Burgundy beef. By the way, in the editorial office of the American woman, he fit into ten pages of the book. Housewives begin to discern the subtleties of Provencal, Norman, Burgundy, Alsatian cuisines and more. Julia Child wakes up famous.

Julia’s absolute success came in the 60s, when she appeared on television, in the program The French Chef, which was filmed at her home in Cambridge. It would seem – well, which of Julia is a TV presenter? Angular madame with a ladle, besides 1 meter 90 centimeters in height, did not look very harmonious in the frame. But all this – until the moment when she began to cook.




“My main advice to everyone is to learn to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be brave and have fun with it,” Julia broadcast from the screens. No need to complicate things or prepare sophisticated dishes. Food should be good, good quality and fresh ingredients. Treat food with respect. Even if the dish turns out to be rather nasty, you – the cook – should eat it, clenching your teeth, smiling, and learn from your mistakes”.

Together with her, hundreds of thousands of American women cook in their kitchens – whip cream, bake pork, separate yolks from whites for crepe suzette pancakes. Her program has been popular for as long as 10 years.

After Julia Child releases the show Dinner at Julia, Cooking with Master Chefs, Julia Teaches to Bake, Julia Child and Company and others. In total, she filmed four hundred culinary episodes. Julia writes a food column for The Boston Globe and appears on the cover of Time.

She creates the Boston University graduate program in food and gastronomy, and is involved in the founding of the American Institute of Wine and Food.

Of course, Julia Child does all this with the full support of her husband. “A man who is always there – a porter, a dishwasher, an official photographer, an onion and mushroom carver, an editor, an illustrator, a manager, a taster, an idea generator, a poet and a husband,” his wife said about Paul.

She made a real culinary revolution in the USA and the world, proving that cooking is a serious art form that deserves respect, that there is no bad or inferior profession if you are very passionate about it, and that your favorite business can bring both income and fame, and the joy of life.

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