Julia Child (1912-2004) was an icon of 20th century American food culture. A television chef and cookbook
author, Child’s culinary interest blossomed while accompanying her husband Paul, who was working at
the American Embassy, to Paris after World War II. While in Paris, Childs enrolled in the Cordon Bleu
culinary school. After graduation, Child and two of her fellow classmates, Simone Beck and Louisette
Bertholle, formed a cooking school called L’Ecole de Trois Gourmandes (The School of the Three
Gourmands). These three chefs collaborated to write the two volume, 734 page cookbook, Mastering
the Art of French Cooking. The goal of the book was to make the seemingly complex and sophisticated
nature of French cuisine more accessible to an American audience. The book was a huge success,
remaining the top selling cookbook for five straight years after it was published. Perhaps the original
American celebrity chefs, her 1962 television show, The French Chef, elevated Child to national stardom.
Child’s relatability, and positive attitude resonated with home cooks. She went on to create a number of
different television programs and author several cookbooks including, In Julia’s Kitchen with Master
Chefs, Baking with Julia, Julia’s Delicious Little Dinners, and Julia’s Casual Dinners. She was also the first
woman inducted into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame.