Julia Child is so famous that Hollywood has made a movie not about her but about someone else trying to cook like her. Julie & Julia, which opens Aug. 7, follows New York City blogger Julie Powell as she tries to cook her way through all 524 recipes in Child’s seminal cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
As it turns out, the most famous chef became a television personality by chance. While on tour to promote Mastering, Child demonstrated how to cook an omelet on a Boston television station. Viewers enjoyed her segment so much that in 1963, the station gave her a cooking show. Her program, The French Chef — in all its artery-clogging, waistline-expanding glory — ran for 10 years. By the time Child retired in 2001, she had written 17 books and appeared on dozens of television shows. When she died in 2004 at age 91, America mourned the loss of its greatest French chef. Her original kitchen is currently on exhibit at the Smithsonian.
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