Today would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday, and Eatocracy is celebrating her legacy. Fans sent in their favorite stories about the beloved TV chef and cookbook author.
‘You taught my dad how to cook’
Monica Bennett was 12 years old and heartbroken over her parents’ recent divorce when she moved to Ohio to live with her dad. On his own for the first time, her father had to learn how to cook for his daughter.
Night after night, Bennett found her father bent over Julia’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” preparing a feast for just the two of them. They enjoyed Boeuf Bourgignon countless evenings, but her favorite was Child’s crepes. Twenty-five years later, she carries on the crepe-making tradition – and other culinary adventures - with her own family.
“When I’m cooking from the food splattered pages, I feel like he is there right beside me teaching me how to cook again,” she wrote on CNN iReport. Sometimes she can even hear his thick Czech accent, calling out “That’s right darling, and then you flip the crepe!”
“Thank YOU Julia,” she said. “You taught my dad how to cook who then taught me how to cook, and for that, I am forever grateful to you.”
When Julia snorted
In 1991, Paula Werne was editor of the now-defunct magazine “Catering Today” when Julia Child gave the keynote address at that year’s catering industry awards luncheon.
The audience “lapped up every word” of Child’s ode to cooking with cream and butter (always in moderation), using real food and savoring the preparation. Then she moved on to her disdain for frozen meals and microwaves, and Werne started to turn green.
Werne knew what was coming next. The magazine publisher began his presentation of the catering industry awards. The top prize? A Denver caterer who sold low fat, low calorie meals. Which were frozen. And could be heated in the microwave.
“We were giving this top award to this caterer who did the opposite of everything she had just lectured about,” Werne said. “The timing couldn’t have been worse.”
Werne, then five months pregnant and already battling nausea, watched Child’s jaw clench tighter and tighter, and thought she might be sick in front of the famous chef.
And then, “Ms. Child snorted!”
“I think she tried to sit and be polite but it overcame her. The noise she made was just so visceral – I don’t think she could control it,” Werne told CNN iReport. “I loved Julia Child that moment. She was my hero from that day on.”
'I tried to be Julia Child'
iReporter Cynthia Falardeau loved Julia Child so much she wanted to be her. So she was, for Halloween 1985, and won the costume contest at a college fraternity party with her denim shirt and Aqua Net shellacked hair.
The costume was the closest she got to personifying Child, she said, because "I was a terrible cook."
Fortunately for Falardeau, she met and married a man who loves to cook as much as she loves food. In her iReport, she wrote:
“Thank you Julia for inspiring me to dream of food and to find a man that exemplifies all you believed.”
And from Twitter:
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