Happy 99th Birthday, Julia Child!

Published by Monday, August 15, 2011 Permalink 0
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by Julia Child

Julia Child would have turned 99 today.

Julia Child brought French food to post-war America. When her husband Paul was posted to Paris, she studied at L’Ecole du Cordon Bleu, and went on to form her own cooking school with fellow students Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Louisette Bertholle. The threesome went on to write the 2-volume classic Coq au Vin , which covered all the basic techniques and dishes of classic French cuisine.

















And indeed she proved to be right. It is only now, 60 years later, that cooking has established itself as gastronomy, and only when referring to a few great American chefs.

This is Foodista’s list of their favorite Julia recipes.

Coq au Vin

Rooster cooked in red wine is a classic Burgundian dish made with red wine, mushrooms, onions, bacon and herbs.

Duck a l’Orange

Vichyssoise is actually the base of almost all French soups. This simple base — made of potatoes, leeks, and salt — is elaborated on in countless ways to make an endless variety of soup. When served cold in summer and cream is added, it is referred to as Vichyssoise.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ratatouille brings all the flavors of the Southern sun together: red ripe tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, garlic, onions and Provençal herbs. Today there are many other versions, many of them even in the oven, but this is the classic recipe.

Upside-Down Martini

The problem with duck is always the same: the fat spews all over the place and it is difficult to digest. The acid of the orange in this classic French dish helps digest the fat, and makes it tasty too. This is a favorite Julia Child recipe.

Custard Apple Tart

Boeuf Bourguignon is a fancy version of our classic beef stew. What makes it different is that it is cooked in red wine, and pearl onions and mushroom caps are added to it.

Plum Clafoutis

Not surprising that Julia loved Martinis. She added vermouth to just about any sauce she could work it in to.


Not all French pies are made with custard, but you often find this version in Normandy, the land of cream and butter. It can be served either cold or warm.

Lessons from Julia Child

Clafoutis can be made with many different fruits, but plus and cherries are all-time French favorites. This tart has a custard-like consistency, but also contains ground almonds, giving it a salty edge.

Sabayon is a a cousin of the light, egg-based Italian dessert zabaglione. It is light and custard-like, and a standard in French as well as British cuisine.

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  • CD
    August 15, 2011

    Happy Birthday Julia!!!

  • Elatia Harris
    August 14, 2012

    What a century for food! No matter what happens, bad news or good, I always wonder what Julia would say about it before I imaginatively run it by anyone else…

    My soon-to-be husband had to spend the fall of my senior year in Europe. Aha! I thought, I’ll master the art of French cooking while he’s away! I was a teenager who had learned to cook to feed my younger siblings — my wonderful mother had other gifts. But I hadn’t tackled Julia, only watched her. I got the book and made spinach souffle with a fresh tomato coulis, boeuf bourguignon, a salad of interesting greens with a real vinaigrette, and a chocolate mousse. And then I made them again and again, until I got them right. If I were to serve that now, it would create a deeply nostalgic experience for everyone, including me. It’s no longer how people want to eat, by and large. But they remember when it was perfect…and so do I.