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Biography: Resources on Julia Child

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015

Julia Carolyn Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was born in Pasadena, California as Julia Carolyn McWilliams.  After receiving an education at both the Westridge School and Polytechnic School in Pasadena, Julia attended Smith College in Massachusetts. After college, she moved to New York City and worked as a copyright in the advertising department of W. & J. Sloane, an upscale home-furnishing firm. In 1937, she returned to California and spent the next four years writing, working and volunteering. In 1942, during WWII, Julia joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)and moved to Washington D.C., where she worked directly with the leader of the OSS, General William J. Donovan.  In 1944, Julia was assigned to a post in Kandy, Ceylon and then later to China.   It is in Ceylon that she met Paul Child, another OSS employee.  On September 1, 1946, Paul and Julia wed in Lumberville, Pennsylvania.  Their lives then took them to Washington D.C. and later to Paris, Franch in 1948. It is in Paris that Julia Child attends Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, studies under Master Chefs like Max Bugnard, and meets Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.  Together the three women, Child, Beck and Bertholle, write the world-famous cookbook  Mastering the Art of French Cooking.   This cookbook was first published in 1961. The Childs continued to move about Europe until they finally settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Julia’s first cooking show, The French Chef, debuted in 1963 and ran for the next 10 years. Julia Child spent the rest of her life cooking, baking, writing and starring in a variety of cooking shows. Julia went on to publish another sixteen cookbooks and starred in ten additional television series and specials. Julia Child’s kitchen which was designed by her husband, Paul Child, is now on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C..  This kitchen served as the setting for three of her cooking shows. To learn more about Julia Child check out these great resources:     The Julia Child Foundation At the Julia Child Foundation, you can learn more about Julia’s life (through a great timeline) and her accomplishments. Julia Child at the Smithsonian  Virtually tour Julia Child’s kitchen (available in both flash and text versions) at the Smithsonian.  Here you can, explore her kitchen, learn more about the cooking tools and gadgets she used and read stories about her life. Go behind the scenes of this exhibit at What’s Cooking?.   Learn more about this kitchen’s journey and how it went from a simple kitchen in Cambridge to a full-fledged exhibit at the Smithsonian.  Listen to audio clips by Julia herself, as she talks about her kitchen in Julia’s Stories.    Visit the Project Diary section to learn more about:  Exploring Julia Child’s Kitchen, Talking with Julia, Packing the Kitchen, Curating the Collection and Creating an Exhibit. In the Resources section, the Smithsonian also provides a  recommended children’s book list, which consists of cookbooks, fiction and non-fiction cooking themed books.   PBS: Julia Child View (and print!) Julia Child’s recipes online. Watch full episodes, clips and more in the Julia Child Video Collection. The Julia Child Video Library includes episodes from: In Julia’s Kitchen, Baking with Julia (38 full episodes), In Julia’s Kitchen with Mater Chefs (37 full episodes), Julia Child: Cooking with Master Chefs (16 full episodes) Cooking in Concert Series, and The French Chef. Take a Julia Child quiz to find out “Which Julia Are You?”.   Amazon Prime...

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