Honouring Julia Child’s 100th birthday

Though she passed away in 2004, her legacy ensures she will never be forgotten.

As the legendary “French Chef” on television, Julia Child won our hearts and taught us that cooking can and should be joyful rather than a chore. Her cheerful personality and can-do attitude in the kitchen gave birth to a love of cooking that at-home cooks still embrace today.

With her legendary 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she gave people a new sense of pride in putting together a delicious meal.

A centenary celebration for her 100th has taken place over the past 100 days called JC100. Fans were urged to share recipes, photos, stories and memories on various social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr to join in the celebration.

The celebration doesn’t stop there. New biographies are being released, and special dinners are being held – including one happening at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where her Cambridge kitchen is on display.

To say she defined late bloomer would be an understatement. She married in her 30s (very unusual at the time), and she didn’t discover her passion for cooking until she arrived in Paris when she was 36.

By the time she turned 51, she was a television phenomenon.

Biography author Karen Karbo told Chicago Tribune that Julia “made it OK to like eating and become interested in how food was made. She was so much the right person at the right time. As her husband said, she was a natural born entertainer. She was so much at ease with herself and with her audience.”

By the 1980s, she was appearing regularly on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” but hadn’t been in a television series since 1983. While many thought she had retired, she returned in 1993 with a new series called “Cooking With Master Chefs.”

In the last decade of her life, she participated in many television shows and specials and experienced a renaissance in her career.

Her marriage to Paul Child was a long and happy one, spanning 48 years until his death in 1994. Were it not for him, she may have never moved to Paris and discovered her passion for food.

He contributed to her success with his stunning photography work, taking photos for her cookbook and also helping to rig cameras for her series that showed cooking techniques from the cook’s perspective – again revolutionizing the way people learned to cook.

Though she received a variety of awards for her television shows and books, receiving the U.S Presidential Medal of Freedom shed light on the true cultural impact she had.

Watch Biography’s look at Julia Child:

Watch her teach you how to saute a chicken:

Sources: Chicago Tribune, ABC, Biography