Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

It’s hard to imagine what the food world would be like if Julia Child hadn’t eaten Sole Meuniere in France all those years ago. On this day, the 100th anniversary of her birth, my Twitter and RSS feeds as well as many of the blogs I read have been flooded with reminisces and thank yous to her. Even the Google Doodle was a tribute. She has influenced so many people who went into the culinary arts and there’s no doubt we’re better off for that.

I ‘met’ Julia Child in April, 1991 when she came to the Cookbook Store in Toronto (http://cook-book.com/) to do a book signing after her book The Way To Cook came out. I booked the day off work so I could line up with my fellow adorers to get a book signed. I got to the shop very early and ended up near the front of a line of hundreds people which stretched out of the store and around the block.

She was a little late and I was starting to get worried that this experience wasn’t going to happen. I was looking at the books on the shelf, trying to stay calm, hoping that she’d show up. I happened to look out the front window onto the street just in time to see Julia Child getting out of a car. The store erupted into applause and everyone was buzzing.

She sat at a desk, settled in and started meeting her fans and signing books. It took me a few moments to get to her. It was all I could do to say hello and open my book to the front so she could autograph it. I thanked her, closed the book and floated out the store. The whole episode lasted about 30 seconds and I remember it like it was yesterday.

proof

Proof!

During the run up to Julia Child’s 100th birthday celebrations, I’ve been reading about her and watching episodes of many of her shows as well as cooking from her books which has given me a renewed appreciation for her skill as a teacher and her sense of humour. If she was still around today and I got to see her again, I hope I’d be less tongue-tied and be able to properly thank her for her incredible contribution to the culinary arts and for helping me to be a better cook.

Happy birthday Julia!

“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a Valentine as you can give.” ― Julia Child

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