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Definition: Child, Julia from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US chef and author. She trained in Cordon Bleu cooking schools in Paris, France. Her two-volume Mastering the Art of French Cooking (co-authored, 1961–70) became a classic, and several popular television series demystified French cooking for the USA and established Child as a celebrity. Her other cookbooks include The Way to Cook (1989).

She was born in Pasadena, California.


Summary Article: Child, Julia
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

1912–2004, American cooking teacher, author, and television personality, b. Pasadena, Calif., as Julia Carolyn McWilliams. In the early 1940s both she and her husband-to-be, Paul Child, served in the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and China. She learned French cooking while her husband (married 1946) was in the diplomatic service in Paris during the late 1940s. In 1961, Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the first practical and comparatively accessible such cookbook for an American audience. Shortly thereafter, she began hosting a series of educational television programs; the best known, The French Chef (1963–76), transformed her into an Emmy-winning public-broadcasting star. Child's relaxed, straightforward manner made preparing French cuisine seem less intimidating, and her books and programs helped to change American styles of cooking and eating as well as American attitudes toward food. Her many other cookbooks include From Julia Child's Kitchen (1975) and The Way to Cook (1989). Child's kitchen was dismantled and permanently installed in the Smithsonian Institution.

  • See her My Life in France (2006, with Prud'homme, A. );.
  • biographies by N. R. Fitch (1997) and L. Shapiro (2007);.
  • Barr, N. V. , Backstage with Julia (2007);.
  • Conant, J. , A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS (2011).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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