Celebrating Julia Child’s 100th Birthday

Born Aug. 15, 1912, Julia Child was one of
America’s most influential chefs. As her
100th birthday approaches, let us take a
look back at how she got started. Child’s television
programs, “The French Chef,” “Julia Child
and Company,” “Julia Child and More Company,”
“Cooking with the Master Chefs” and “Julia
and Jacques Cooking at Home” helped expose
Americans to the art of French cooking.

At six-foot-and-two-inches, the towering
chef already stood out. In fact, on the sets of her
shows the counter tops were designed so that
she wouldn’t have to crouch down while cooking.
Child was anything but average. Her quirky
methods of cooking, great sense of humor and
fearlessness of failing helped her share her passion
for cooking with the world.

However, Child did not pursue her joy of
cooking until age 36. She and her husband Paul
were living in France when Child enrolled in
Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. Instantly, she
immersed herself in French culture. Her most
notable cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French
Cooking,” which she collaborated on with fellow
female chefs Simone Beck and Louisette
Bertholle remains a holy grail among chefs to
this day.

To celebrate what would have been Child’s
100th birthday, below are some upcoming
events in and around D.C., on television and online
commemorating her.


On pinterest.com, a board in honor of Julia
Child has been set up by the New York Chapter
of Les Dames d’Escoffier, the premier organization
for professional women in the food, wine,
and hospitality industries. Pinterest allows users
to share content including images, video, and
other creative material by “pinning” these images
onto their pinboard. The Julia Child Pinterest
board aims to pin 100 photos and tributes of
her in order to share with fans around the world.


PBS will broadcast original episodes of “The
French Chef,” which has not aired since the
1960s. Viewers are encouraged to follow these
episodes by making their own creation of a classic
Julia Child dish and sharing their creations
by posting photos to PBS Food on Twitter, using
the hashtag #CookforJulia. In addition, an
encore presentation of the special “Julia Child
Memories: Bon Appétit!” will air, as well as
comments and testimonials regarding Julia from
well-respected food industry people around the

AUGUST 7-15, 13-19

RIS restaurant will pay homage to Julia Child
all month as part of its “All Thing Julia” tribute.
Coinciding with D.C. Restaurant Week (August
13-19), “All Things Julia” at RIS will offer a
traditional $20.12 lunch menu and $35.12 dinner
menu with Child’s incomparable dishes. Additionally,
RIS will also participate in National
Julia Child Restaurant Week, which is hosted by
the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy &
the Culinary Arts. Be sure to ask the bartender
for Child’s classic “reverse martinis.” For updates
on “All Things Julia,” visit risdc.com and
call 202.730.2500 to make a reservation. 2275 L
St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20037.


At the S. Dillon Ripley Center at the Smithsonian,
join biographer Bob Spitz, 7 to 8:30 p.m.,
as he discusses the impact of Julia Child at “Julia
Child’s Bon Appétit for Life.” Following the
lecture, Spitz will be available to sign copies of
his latest book “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of
Julia Child” after the program. Tickets cost $25.
For more information, call 202-633-3030, or visit
smithsonianassociates.org. 1100 Jefferson Dr.,
SW, Washington, D.C. 20560.


If you are looking for a more hands-on approach
to this centennial, Sur La Table is hosting
a cooking class at its restaurant, 6:30 to 8:30
p.m. Using recipes from Child’s classic “Mastering
the Art of French Cooking,” an instructor
will assist you in recreating some of Julia’s most
popular dishes. At $69 per person, what better
way to celebrate than to be like one of America’s
most beloved chefs herself? Visit surlatable.com
for more information or call 202.237.0375. 1101
S. Joyce St., Arlington, Va. 22202.


Celebrate Julia Child’s centenary by planning
a trip to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of
American History to visit her actual kitchen.
Donated to the Smithsonian in 2001, the 14-by-
20-foot kitchen from her Massachusetts home
features every cooking amenity imaginable, including
the kitchen sink. Find out more at americanhistory.
si.edu/juliachild. 1400 Constitution
Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.?

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