This August 15th marks the would-be 100th birthday of Julia Child - television personality, french food expert, and dropper of many whisks. Her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, now lauded as one of the greatest of all time, was among the first modern cookbooks - outlining every step as few before it had done. She brought french food to Americans, and simultaneously elevated the culinary playing field at a time when television dinners, frozen vegetables and cake mixes were the norm.
More substantial than her culinary acheivements, however, was the impact she had on women in the kitchen. To Julia, food was much more than a basic necessity, it was something to be perfected, to be obsessed over, and not to be apologized for if anything went wrong. In the era of Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique, she espoused her own, slightly less overt version of feminism. She empowered women to get involved in their food, to stand up and take charge of their lives with cooking at the center.
One of her early proteges, Sara Moulton (former executive chef at Gourmet and current public television star), wrote of Julia's unique brand of feminism, "What I really understood from Julia Child was that if you really, really want something you shouldn't let anything get in your way. I don't really think it's feminism. She would have given the same message to a man. She was willing to go into a man's world and cook this food that women weren't cooking. She's a role model."
Julia Child Revolutionized the Way Women Saw Cooking from The Huffington Post
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