August 13, 2004
RIP, Julia Child

Julia Child has stirred her last pot.

Julia Child, whose warbling, encouraging voice and able hands brought the intricacies of French cuisine to American home cooks through her television series and books, has died. She was 91.

"America has lost a true national treasure," Nicholas Latimer, director of publicity for the famed chef's publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, said in a statement. "She will be missed terribly."

Child died at 2:50 a.m. Friday at her home in an assisted-living center in Montecito, a coastal town about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, said her niece, Philadelphia Cousins.

"She passed away in her sleep," Cousins said. "She was with family and friends and her kitten, Minou. She had cookbooks and many paintings by her husband Paul around the house."

Child, who died two days before her 92nd birthday, had been suffering from kidney failure, Cousins said.


Her custom-designed kitchen -- including small utensils, personal cookbooks and six-burner Garland commercial range -- is on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

I've been to that exhibit at the Smithsonian. It's very cool. Julia Child was indeed a national treasure. May she rest in peace.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 13, 2004 to Food, glorious food | TrackBack

What was wonderful about her was the way she made cooking look so simple and fun to do. Of course, I was also thinking about the Saturday Night Live routine that where Dan Akroyd played her. I'll take "stewed tomatoes" seriously again. :-)

Posted by: William Hughes on August 13, 2004 8:01 PM

Julia Child was more than a cook, she was one of the greatest liberators of women in modern history.

I was surprised recently when I read an article in the NYTimes that asserted Julia Child was ranked as highly as Betty Friedan in terms of most important feminists. The writer asserted that in the postwar era, the agriculture and prepared foods industries worked to keep women occupied in the kitchen with elaborate and unwieldy recipes. Then Julia came along and said cooking should be fun and easy if you knew what you were doing. With the new movement of cooking she represented, women were no longer slaving over a hot stove all day.
Well, I hardly do justice to the writer's argument, but it was a pretty convincing argument, I was astonished.

Posted by: Charles E on August 14, 2004 9:59 AM

This woman personified joi d'vivre. I grew up watching her with the old man. I simply loved her. I read that the Smithsonian took her pots, wisks and 500 knives, and that Harvard accepted her huge cookbook collection.

Posted by: chris on August 14, 2004 11:12 PM