Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Child ingratiated herself into the lives of the average American with her infectious enthusiasm and trademark simplicity

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Julia Child, an American icon who brought two of the most beloved items in the US, food and television, together.

In recognition of her contributions to American culture, today we celebrate one of the country's most endearing icons.

Child's culinary career began after she graduated from the prestigious Cordon Bleu culinary school in France, and made her name authoring the 752-page cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This followed her stint as a spy with top-level security clearances, naturally.

She then she ingratiated herself with the everyday American on her show The French Chef, which premiered in 1963 and aired for a decade on National Education Television, the publicly-funded precursor to PBS.

On The French Chef, Child didn't use cutesy abbreviations or branding gimmicks, she simply offered straightforward cooking technique with a heavy dose of real world wisdom. The French Chef wasn't the glossy, over-edited cooking production of today, but a fun and lighthearted class in truly excellent cooking.

''We should enjoy food and have fun,'' Child said in 1990. ''It is one of the simplest and nicest pleasures in life.''

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