Wednesday 15 Aug, 2012

A Happy 100 to Julia Child!

photo credit: Jim Scherer

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” – Julia Child

Get ready for a culinary extravaganza as the Smithsonian celebrates the 100th anniversary of Julia Child’s birthday!

Celebrity chefs are as bountiful today as butter is in Julia’s recipes, but she was the original.  Here’s a quick look at her delicious life:

Julia Child Timeline

1912 Born (Julia McWilliams) in Pasadena, California

1934 Graduated from Smith College

photo from Child’s book “My Life in France.”

1945 Met her future husband Paul Child while on assignment in Sri Lanka as a research assistant for the US Office of Strategic Services. The marred a year later.

1948 The couple moved to France & Julia took  French cooking lessons

1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published

1963 The famed PBS program The French Chef was born when an appearance on a PBS show (in 1962) to promote her book turns into a full-time show. The show ran for 10 seasons, and was followed by other programs such as Julia Child & Company, Cooking with Master Chefs, Baking With Julia, and Julia Child & Jacques Pépin Cooking at Home.

1993 Became the first woman to be inducted into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame

2000 Received France’s prestigious Legion d’Honneur for popularizing French cuisine

2001 Julia moved from her Cambridge home to California. Smithsonian curators cataloged, packed up and recreated Child’s Cambridge, Mass., kitchen in the National Museum of American History.

2004 Julia Child passed away just a few days before her 92nd birthday.

Julia was not just a great cook, but a media pioneer and don’t forget her stint as a spy. She was a woman with many sides to her boisterous personality, so take the quiz and find out “Which Julia Are You?

Celebrating Julia

For the 100 days leading up today’s 100th birthday anniversary, the Smithsonian, along with Child’s long-time publisher Alfred A. Knopf and restaurants around the country, has been celebrating since May—the 100 days leading up to her birthday anniversary today. The day started off with book signing, screenings of The French Chef  and a special surprise event is scheduled for 1 p.m. (We’ll keep you posted.)

Celebrations, bearing the JC100 moniker, have been happening across the country, and fans of Mrs. Child have also been connecting online with the Julia Child Facebook fan page, JC100 Tumbler and twitter feeds. You can also do a quick search of JC100 recipes to see what bloggers have been cooking up to honor Julia! (And take a second to appreciate the Google Doodle today, which also honors Mrs. Child.) Knopf Doubleday Publishing also has a video series featuring some of today’s greatest chefs sharing how Julia influenced their culinary careers.

PBS digital studios put together a remix of some of Julia’s best culinary television moments.

Have you been celebrating Julia, or do you plan to? Tell us how!

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