August 16, 2012

Julia Child: America's 1st Top Chef would be 100 today...

Julia Child, who turned the art of French cooking into prime-time television entertainment and brought cassoulet to a casserole culture in the two volumes of her monumental "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," Mrs. Child was not the first dedicated cook to turn cooking into a spectator sport - James Beard preceded her on television in 1945, Dione Lucas in 1948 - but she brought a fresh, breezy approach to daunting material, expressed in her up-the-scales signature signoff, "Bon appétit!"


A self-confessed ham, she became a darling of audiences and comedians almost from the moment she made her debut on WGBH in Boston in 1963 at the age of 50. On "Saturday Night Live," Dan Aykroyd played her boozily bleeding to death while shrieking, "Save the liver." Jean Stapleton even portrayed her in a musical with sung recipes called "Bon Appétit!" in 1989. 

"I fell in love with the public, the public fell in love with me, and I tried to keep it that way," Mrs. Child said in an interview.

Multiple sources

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