Today would have been Julia Child's one hundredth birthday.She changed American cooking for the better ,offering Americans the chance to improve and widen their tastes and culinary skills.It's only fitting that today's New York Times Dining section honors her.
There are two great articles paying homage to one of the world's best chefs since Auguste Escoffier. One is by Times regular Julia Moskin who was named after Ms. Childs.Ms/ Moskin not only gives us her best recipes such as the buttery and fruity dessert clafoutis but also the robust and flavorful coulis de tomates a la provencale.but also her memories of her parents creating Ms Childs. recipes. This former OSS agent gave everyone around the US the chance to expand their culinary wings. (including my mom who made her spinach torte, stuffed with fresh spinach , bacon and mushrooms in a melt in your mouth buttery crust).Even today a whole new generation is enjoying her rich , recipes that say the heck with diet and health recipes, bring on the eggs , butter and alcohol.
The second article is a lovely memoire from the great French-American chef Jacques Pepin. Monsieur Pepin gives us how he met Ms Childs.It was the early Sixties thanks to Helen McCully who reviewed Ms, Childs cookbook for House Beautiful. "She had called the great chef "that really tall woman with the really terrible voice."Yet she and Chef Pepin had a long lasting beautiful relationship that even saw them on a PBS cooking show together. They even cooked together as friends, making delicious but surprisingly simple meals at Ms. Childs' house in Boston.They had an excellent rapport , especailly between two chefs.
Julia Child got Americans thinking about good cuisine again. Not since this country's Golden Age of the Late 1800's has food been so revered. She changed that - allowing us to appreciate good cooking and good food. Happy Centennial Birthday , Julia!