Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"If you're afraid of butter, use cream." ~ Julia Child

Long before there were Top Chefs and Iron Chefs, Julia Child was whipping up a storm in her iconic kitchen, now part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Julia McWilliams—better known as Julia Child—was born one hundred years ago on August 15, 1912. Child, who died in 2004, was the author of numerous cookbooks including Mastering the Art of French Cooking and The Way To Cook; she also starred in The French Chef, which premiered on public television in 1962. Learn about this imposing (Child was over six feet tall), accomplished woman in Noel Riley Fitch’s Appetite for Life (1999) or enjoy Child’s own entertaining account of her introduction to French cooking in My Life in France (2006). Jennet Conant chronicles a lesser known, yet equally engrossing, period in Child’s life in A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS.

Grisly titles notwithstanding, followers of celebrity chefs should relish Anthony Bordain’s Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000) and Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook It (2010), Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (2011), and Joseph Bastianich’s Restaurant Man (2012).

Foodies may also want to browse the Library’s cookbook collection (Dewey Decimal numbers (641 – 643) which includes works by TV personalities, Giada, Nigella, Paula Deen, the Cake Boss, and more.

After dinner, kick back and enjoy Julie and Julia, a delectable comedy about a novice blogger who sets out to prepare 524 of Child's recipes in 365 days, starring the magnificent Meryl Streep in the role of Julia Child.

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