11 Things You Didn’t Know About Julia Child
The iconic french chef had an interesting life outside the kitchen!
If you’ve seen the famed film Julie & Julia (if you haven’t please go stream it, you will not regret the $2.99 rental.) you may think you know everything there is about Julia Child. She moved to France! Her husband was in the government! She had a hard time making friends but went to culinary school! Butter!
While the motion picture does capture some facts about Child’s rise to culinary fame, there is so much more to know about this icon.
She had military aspirations
It’s well-known that Julia Child was tall. She dwarfed many of her guests on her popular TV show. Julia was a towering 6′ 2″. It was her height that stopped her from her ultimate goal of joining the military. She was turned away for being too tall.
She worked as a spy
Though Julia couldn’t join the military she did take part in World War II—as a spy! Julia started as an assistant in the Office of Strategic Services, a government office similar to the CIA, and was promoted up the ladder.
She was obsessed with roses
Child was famous for loving, really loving, butter. Her obsession was so well-known that she had this “butter yellow” rose variety named after her.
She was a Cali Girl
While she was known for her French flair and New York sensibility, Child was born in Pasadena, California.
She mastered the art of omelet making
The first dish Julia Child made on TV wasn’t for her cooking show, it was part of the book tour for her first book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She made an omelet on a local Boston TV program.
She was a basketball star
As a very tall young woman, you can assume many people asked Child, “You’re so tall—do you play basketball?”, and the answer during her college years was, “Yes!” She played on her team at Smith College in Massachusetts.
She was a cancer survivor
Child found a lump in her breast in 1968 at the age of 55. In true Julia style, she told People, “I did not want to be whiny,” when describing her experience with cancer. After a potentially life-saving surgery, Child had a relatively private recovery and didn’t mention cancer much in public conversations.
She accomplished many firsts
Julia was the only woman in her first class at Cordon Bleu in 1949. She went on to be the first woman in the culinary world to do many things, including being the first woman inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
Julia wasn’t a fan of Julie
Child never met blogger Julie Powell, featured in Julie & Julia. She did, however, comment on the blog just to say she did not endorse it and that Powell didn’t appear to be a serious chef.
Her kitchen is in a museum
Child donated her kitchen and kitchen tools to the Smithsonian. You can view the exhibit, Bon Appetit! Julia Child’s Kitchen at the Smithsonian, at the National Museum of American History.
She loved French onion soup ’til the end
Child’s last meal was homemade French onion soup at the age of 91. She loved classic French dishes, and butter, her entire life.
Julia knew the ins and outs of French Onion Soup, and we have some recommendations for your soup making too.