Julia Child Turns 100

Back in the roaring ’90s, when I was 20 and living in San Francisco, I frequented a DIVE Vietnamese restaurant in a rough-and-tumble district filled with flop houses and sleazy bars. The restaurant though was really quite exceptional, despite its very grubby appearance and frequent sightings of vermin. One time, while I was waiting for a to-go order, I noticed a greasy, yellowed newspaper clipping pasted up alongside the door. It was barely legible, but clearly was a sort of review of the restaurant where I stood, and the review was quite favorable. While this is hardly surprising, as posting positive reviews in your place of business is a sure-fire way to gain more customers, but this review was from, none other than the grand dame of cooking, Julia Child.

This strange dichotomy, Julia Child essentially typifying fine dining, and this Tenderloin dive being far from anything classy, struck me as humorously odd. However, Julia Child, despite being an authority on fine French dining (she wrote the landmark cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking), Child was first and foremost a lover of well-crafted food, and I guess, despite the vermin and the greasy walls, this place made some praise-worthy food.

If Child were alive today, we would be celebrating her centennial birthday and likely marveling that someone who indulged so much could still cook, or let alone stand. But sadly Child passed away in 2004 (just eight years shy of her centennial) and instead we have her tremendous legacy and love of cooking to reckon with. She changed how Americans cook, how they think about cooking and how they approach food. She sort of leveled the playing field for everyone, making cooking accessible to all, not just to the elite. And she changed television with her show The French Chef, which brought fine cooking home to television audiences everywhere.

What are some of your fond memories of Julia Child? Do you think she deserves such deification? If not, who do you think possibly deserves the praise more?


Natasha Salgado
Past Member 5 years ago

Julia Is an icon!!!! Thank you.

Rose Becke6 years ago

Have I missed something I thought this was about Julia Childs

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago


Ralph G.
Ralph G6 years ago

Without getting involved with the lady of whom i know little, I find Amitav's words genuine and strong. I very much support that authentic approach

Leena K.
Leena K6 years ago

she is an icon from years back, thanks and happy birthday.

Joan Q.
Joan Q6 years ago

though i agree with much of what Amitav said, i find him an insufferable pisser. one wonders what lofty places he must find to reside in since his head is obviously verrrrrrrrrrrrry large.

Angie B.
Angela B6 years ago

Holy smokes....100 years young!! Some of my earliest memories include the sound of her voice....my mom loved to cook and worshipped the words of Julia Child :)

Amitav Dash
Amitav Dash6 years ago

Sorry, was cut off there... Care2 needs to post a character limit on its comments field :>

As I was trying to say to Susan B., Julie D., and Christina R. {continuing on from the last paragraph of my previous post}

You judge a person on the totality of their actions and beliefs, not just those that are convenient for you. That's why the wife-beating or rapist athlete from my favourite sports team is someone I will call out and turn against; that's why the company that produces my preferred product choice but takes advantage of its workers or pollutes the environment is one that I will protest and boycott; and that's why the entertaining but cruel and hypocritical chef is not one I will celebrate.

If it makes you feel better to call me a Nazi because I called attention to the critical flaws of someone you like, and that I believe in holding people to a higher standard, go ahead, it just reveals you to be the worst kind of hypocrite, a fairweather carer.

Chris C.
Chris C6 years ago

My mom used to watch her. I couldn't stand to listen to her voice. Later, I discovered how inhumane she was regarding animals. That sealed the deal with me...never a fan.

Amitav Dash
Amitav Dash6 years ago

To Susan B., Julie D., and Christina R., can you see your own hypocrisy, or shall I point it out to you?

I attacked the subject of the article with a fair and reasoned argument -- I didn't like the woman because of the inherent cruelty toward animals in the decisions she made to promote meat, any and all meat above all other food, and to be damned with how the animal was raised or cared for (she supported veal crates and forced feeding of ducks, among other horrors), or even how the animal was killed (she cut up a live lobster on one famous episode of her show and saw nothing wrong with that and taught & promoted this to others). You, in turn, attacked me the person, with no particular argument other than I criticized someone you liked... boo hoo, your poor little souls must be so fragile... time to stay off public forums where you may encounter dissention and contrary views to your carefully constructed world.

I didn't like Julia Child, I found her to be evil and hypocritical. If you liked her, good for you, but don't bury your head in the sand in regards to her obvious and many flaws, even when many of those go against your own beliefs (if one is to believe your profiles) just because you found her entertaining.

You judge a person on the totality of their actions and beliefs, not just those that are convenient for you. That's why the wife-beating or rapist athlete from my favourite sports team is someone I will call out and turn against; that's why the compa