Home Cook Hall of Fame: Julia Child

We consider cooking the best method of doing dinner, because homemade food tastes best, is good for you, and brings you together with people, from family and friends to the makers who crafted your goat cheese. You already know that.

But we hardly came to this conclusion on our own: home cooking has a long history. To catch you up, we’ll be sharing the (abridged) stories of those home-cooking heros, the chefs and reporters and cookbook authors and bloggers whose work has helped make us–and you–feel at home in the kitchen.

Today, meet Julia Child.

Who She Is

You probably already known Julia, she of the ringing “Bon Appetit!!” An American who moved to Paris with her husband, Child’s first wave of fame hit in 1963, when episodes of “The French Chef” became the first cooking show to air on PBS. In 2009, Meryl Streep portrayed her character with gusto in Julie and Julia, the movie.

Her Story

Child’s cooking career got off to a late start. At age 32, while working for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, Child moved to Ceylon and fell in love with her future husband, Paul Child. Only then did she start cooking–for him.  Together, they moved to France, because Paul was working for the U.S. State Department. In Paris, Child met two French chefs who were writing a book for American home cooks, and she started testing recipes for them. That led to a joint cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which came out with its first volume in 1961 and its second in 1970, and a TV show. By the time Child passed away at 92, her books, shows, and charisma had smilingly urged an entire generation to cook.

Why Cooking Matters

Well, you’ve got to eat. Child often noted how, until she got married, she didn’t cook, she merely ate. But sautéing and roasting not only became her career, the passion also cooked up a full, satisfying, and amusing life for her–a life full of dinner parties with interesting people whom her food had brought together. Conquering fears in the kitchen, she told us, can help with conquering the rest of life. Cooking matters precisely because it can be a testing ground for other ambitions, a place to flourish, try new things, fail, and get back on your feet.

Who She Hangs With

Child was at home with the top French and American chefs of her day, like James Beard. Her French collaborator on Mastering, Simone Beck, went on to write influential cookbooks of her own. Judith B. Jones, an editor at Knopf, published Child’s cookbook when no one else would and went on to edit many of the culinary stars of the 20th century.

Takeaways

To cook à la Julia, you have to be simultaneously ambitious and forgiving. You’ll never get into the kitchen if you’re afraid, she believed, and yet if you do spend time in the kitchen, you’re apt to mess up in a big way. So, you have to embrace this duality. “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure,” she said. “In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

Cardamom & Chia Granola | Blue Apron

Cardamom & Chia Seed Granola

This delicious (gluten-free!) granola takes its place in a long and storied history of American breakfasts. Read more »

Spicy2

Hate Spicy Food? 16 Ingredients to Avoid

Would you like your puttanesca with a dose of red pepper flakes, your udon noodles with chili garlic sauce, your fish sandwich with tons of Tabasco? No thanks, you say? Hold the spice? Well, while many cuisines boast a high degree of spice in their dishes–and while many eaters love hot food, whether or not […] Read more »

Vermont Creamery | Blue Apron

Vermont Creamery: Where the Best Goats Make the Best Goat Cheese

In the United States, there’s a region that looks a little bit like France. The green hills are dotted with cows and goats, and people there make cheese from scratch. Watch how Vermont Creamery turns out the best goat cheese, from pasture to pizza. Read more »

Super Seasoning For Your Spuds | Blue Apron

Super Seasoning For Your Spuds

There’s an infinite number of ways to make mashed potatoes, and that’s one thing I love about them. You can make them really smooth or leave them lumpy. You can mash them with a ricer, masher or mixer. You can stir in melted butter, room temperature butter, milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk or something else. But I think there’s one thing we can all agree on: a bland scoop of mashed potatoes is the worst scoop of mashed potatoes.
Read more »

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

Cranberry-Walnut Muffins

Presenting: the muffin you’ll need to get you through fall. Through the Halloween sugar hangover and the family visiting for Thanksgiving weekend. Through the lazy Sundays, and even through Christmas morning. With their jewel tones and sweet cinnamon spicing, these are an unforgettable staple, a simple meal that manages to have pizzazz. There’s an actual […] Read more »

Carlo Petrini, father of home food

Home Cook Hall of Fame: Carlo Petrini

We consider cooking the best method of doing dinner, because homemade food tastes best, is good for you, and brings you together with people, from family and friends to the producers who pressed  your tortillas. You already know that. But we hardly came to this conclusion on our own: home cooking has a long history. […] Read more »

Roast Your Pumpkin Seeds | Blue Apron

Three Spices for Your Pumpkin Seeds

One of the greatest activities of fall, at least culinarily speaking, is the one that you do right after you carve your jack o’lantern: roast pumpkin seeds. Read more »

Cider Caramel Final

Five-Ingredient Cider Caramels

Making candy at home is nowhere near as tough as it sounds. With just five ingredients and some careful attention to bubbling sugar, you can make these cider caramels, which have a deep, slightly tangy apple flavor and are utterly addictive. Best of all, wrapped up in little squares of wax paper, a handful of these caramels makes an incredible edible gift (or a trick or treat!).
Read more »

Top Chef Congee

You Can Now Cook the Top Chef Season Premiere-Winning Dish at Home, Thanks to Blue Apron

As you watch Chef Mei Lin place that last crispy shallot on her caramelized pork congee on the premiere episode of Top Chef Season 12, we’ll all do a whole lot better than licking the screen. That’s because our Blue Apron culinary team has adapted the recipe so that home chefs can cook the winning dish from tonight’s Top Chef season premiere the week of October 27th. Read more »

As seen in

© Blue Apron, Inc. 2014 Privacy Terms