3 things we learned from Julia Child’s mouth-watering new documentary & where you can watch it


Two vintage images of Julia Child on a designed background

Jim Scherer. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics, photography by Paul Child. © Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

Whether you grew up watching his PBS cooking shows or just encountered some of his his most emblematic moments on Youtube and Facebook, it’s hard not to like Julia Child. The cookbook author and the TV host not only taught American audiences to appreciate new flavors and recipes, she also taught them to be more confident in the kitchen.

“[Child] would say to me: ‘This is television. You can’t be too serious, you know people are there to have a good time, ”said Jacques Pépin, longtime friend and co-host of Child. Eat well. “She made me approach television in a lighter way, sure. That being said, at the end of each of the shows, whatever you do, she would always discuss, ‘What did they learn today? ‘have we taught?’ “

Related: Julia Child was ahead of the game when it came to using this reliable kitchen tool

Julia, a new documentary from the directors of RBG, celebrates Julia’s attitude in the kitchen. She always aimed to teach, but more than that, she aimed to have fun. Even his regular dinner guests remember the practical lessons they would receive from preparing the meal. (They also remember his favorite dinner dish: roast beef with potatoes and gravy.)

The film also delves into Julia’s swirling life outside of the kitchen, from her time in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II to her support for progressive causes. The documentary includes interviews with chefs like José Andrés and Pépin, food critic François Simon and some of Child’s friends and family. And, to make matters even more enticing, food stylist Susan Spungen painstakingly recreates some of Child’s most iconic recipes in a replica of Child’s kitchen built for the film.

The American who became known as The French chef may be a cultural icon, but we promise you will definitely learn more than you expected in this documentary. Here are just three of the treats that surprised us the most.

1. She didn’t grow up in the kitchen.

Like another of our favorite TV cooks, Ina GartenThe child was not encouraged to cook as a child in Pasadena, California. As a child of a wealthier family, getting involved in the kitchen wasn’t something Child’s family did often. In a 1989 interview with Terry GrossChild explained that her family “always had a cook” and her mother “only cooked on Thursdays.”

The kid didn’t hang out in the kitchen much – although she also told Gross that one of her grandmothers was a great cook – so she didn’t take much interest in cooking until then. that she meets her husband, Paul Child.

2. Julia and Paul have had a relationship worthy of a romantic comedy.

The documentary explores the early days of the Childs relationship in ways you may not be familiar with. Using letters between Paul and her brother and excerpts from Julia’s diary, directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West recount how Julia and Paul met while working for a CIA precursor in WWII global. (You’ll have to watch the movie to get a full idea of ​​how these two worshiped in their early writings.)

Julia Child (left) and Paul Child (right) pose with an Emmy trophy

Julia Child (left) and Paul Child (right) pose with an Emmy trophy

Photograph by Paul Child. © Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

The two then moved to Paris – you may recall from Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci’s performances in Julie & Julia-where Julia attended cooking school and had the first very good meal of her life. Later, when Julia became a TV personality and constant cook, it was Paul who helped behind the scenes. He has personalized their cooking in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has occasionally made appearances on his PBS shows.

3. She was * not * the healthy eating type.

In an appearance on Jay Leno Tonight’s show, Child has clearly expressed his lack of interest in “healthy foods”. “I hate diet foods of all types,” she said during the interview. According to American Institute of Wine and Food, a nonprofit food education organization that Child co-founded, she was frustrated “with how many Americans had learned to associate food and wine with guilt and fear.”

The kid wanted people at home to enjoy preparing and eating food instead of worrying about the number of calories on their plate. A culinary writer, Carolyn O’Neil of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, remembers that the child’s key to healthy eating was the one we still use today: moderation. “The key to a healthy diet is to eat small portions and a wide variety of everything,” Child told O’Neil in a CNN profile in 1997. “And most importantly, have fun!”

How to watch Julia Child’s new documentary

To learn more about the wisdom of the child, see Julia, which opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, November 12. Find tickets for a screening near you on Atom tickets or try the trailer on the film website-Just make sure you don’t arrive hungry at your screening.

If you want to learn more about the iconic chef right away, pick up one of the books the documentary is inspired by: My life in France by Julia Child (buy it: $ 12, Amazon), The French chef in America: the second act of Julia Child by Alex Prud’homme (purchase: $ 19, Amazon) Where Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz (purchase: $ 17, Amazon).

Related: Julia Child TV series is coming to HBO Max

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