Happy 100th birthday Julia Child!

Today, August 15th 2012 would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday: a day that’s already been immortalized on Twitter (#JC100) by food writers and bloggers around the globe.  Credited as the woman who revolutionized North America’s relationship with food, Julia Child remains a culinary icon whose books, TV series and inimitable culinary style live on in the hearts of chefs, home cooks and gourmands who continue to be inspired by her.  Toronto journalist Marion Kane is going even further, adding the voices of those who knew Julia best in a series of documentary-style podcasts which will be featured on her website.

Marion and Julia taken in her Kensington kitchen in 1991 when the Toronto Star brought Julia to Toronto for a day

“It means a great deal to me to honour Julia in this way.  Her work has had a profound impact on some of the world’s best chefs, thousands of home cooks and on me personally.  This is my tribute to the woman I was lucky to call a friend” says Kane.  Podcasts include interviews with Julia’s editor and friend Judith Jones, Julia’s grandnephew Alex Prud’homme who helped his great-aunt pen “My Life in France”, Bob Spitz, a former rock musician who managed the careers of Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, and who wrote the well-researched, entertaining book “Dearie” about Julia, timed for publication during Child’s centenary.  Future podcasts and blog posts will include interviews with Stephanie Hersch (Julia’s personal assistant for close to two decades) as well as key players in Julia’s visits to Toronto in the early 90s. Mark McEwan, Jamie Kennedy, Alison Fryer and Hart Melvin all weigh in on how Julia impacted them and what it means to have had the chance to meet and/or cook for the legend.

Read more about Marion’s friendship with Julia and follow her for details of the podcasts on her blog.

This week’s JC100 recipe – the final one – is, fittingly, Julia’s iconic Boeuf Bourguignon, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1.  Julia describes this dish as “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”  Certainly, in my jetlagged state in which I wander around the house aimlessly as my “to do” list piles up and my suitcase lays abandoned, half-unpacked still, I needed delicious. Both to eat and to cook.  Over the weeks I have been away, people have consistently commented on how they “don’t know how I do it” as in, how to I continue to cook, bake and blog even in foreign kitchens when I am supposedly on holiday. Well the truth is, cooking and baking ground me and make me feel like all is right in the world.  You know how you just know that an egg, sugar, flour and butter will make pastry, no matter where you are, even if you use a wine bottle to roll it out.  It makes you feel less discombobulated, more in control.

This recipe, so complex and rich in flavour, requires only a few simple ingredients, yet it will fill your house with gorgeous smells – indeed, this made the house feel more like home yesterday, amidst the post-vacation chaos.

To make your own you can find a version of Julia Child’s beef bourguignon on Epicurious. And as Julia would say, “Bon Appétit!”. To Julia, I say thank you. For wonderful recipes and stories. Happy Birthday.

* YC Media and Random House/ Alfred A. Knopf launched the JC100 earlier this year: an international campaign involving restaurants, chefs, bookstores, and bloggers, all celebrating Julia and her legacy.

Follow the JC 100 on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JuliaChild
Tumblr: http://jc100.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/knopfbooks/jc100/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JC100

This week, I have very much enjoyed reading various writers and bloggers’ tributes to Julia and one of my favourites has been Dianne Jacob’s post on honouring Julia’s memory by reading her books. Definitely worth a read.

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28 Responses to Happy 100th birthday Julia Child!

  1. Kate@Diethood August 15, 2012 at 09:58 #

    Happy Birthday, brilliant Julia!! It is because of her (and “Jack Tripper”) that I started to cook at the young age of 12! 🙂

  2. idiosyncratic eye August 15, 2012 at 10:12 #

    Food is definitely what roots us. 🙂

  3. movita beaucoup August 15, 2012 at 10:32 #

    Lovely post! (And lovely photos to boot…)

  4. The Mistress of Spices August 15, 2012 at 10:57 #

    A lovely boeuf bourgignon! I wish there was a vegetarian version…I guess I could try using mushrooms and seitan, but somehow I doubt it would be the same. Happy birthday to Julia!

  5. Dianne Jacob August 15, 2012 at 12:00 #

    Thanks for the warm words, Mardi.

    I looked at the Beef Bourgignon link and it looks easier than the Julia Child recipe. Yours looks so tempting I just want to dip my spoon in it.

  6. Marina@Picnic at Marina August 15, 2012 at 14:37 #

    I love this meal, and make quite often with variations as well…:) Thanks to Julia!

  7. Beth (OMG! Yummy) August 15, 2012 at 16:01 #

    The beef bourguignon looks so wonderful. Wish I was there to toast Julia and enjoy it with you! How I wanted to male this myself today – I watched her original episode of The French Chef and it is really not hard to prepare at all and it is a style of cooking I adore – braising. But I think I will be living vicariously instead, which your lovely photos helped with tremendously!

  8. kat August 15, 2012 at 20:25 #

    You did a fantastic job! It looks so good! 🙂

  9. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction August 16, 2012 at 12:01 #

    Lovely! I have never actually made Boeuf Bourguignon, but I have plans to give it a try this fall!

  10. Liz August 16, 2012 at 18:49 #

    Perfectly made and perfectly said! Welcome home~

  11. Russell at Chasing Delicious August 16, 2012 at 20:30 #

    Yum! What a delicious way to celebrate a wonderful inspiration to us all.

  12. My Traveling Troop August 16, 2012 at 22:16 #

    This reminds me that it’s about time I buy “Mastering the Art of French Cooking!” Happy Birthday, Julia!


  13. cat August 19, 2012 at 20:38 #

    this looks perfect for a crisp autumn day – going on the pinterest board for just that occasion!


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