100 Years of Julia Child

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Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to Julia Child, one of the most recognizable cooking figures in history, known for spreading the love of French cooking to American women. The chef, who passed away Aug. 13, 2004, would be celebrating her 100th birthday today.

“I don’t think about whether people will remember me or not. I’ve been an okay person. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve taught people a thing or two. That’s what’s important,” Child has been quoted as saying.

Born Aug. 15, 1912, Child spent years working in the Secret Intelligence division for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), before meeting her husband, Paul Cushing Child, a fellow OSS employee, who introduced his wife to French cuisine. The couple moved to Paris, where Child enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and eventually began teaching cooking to American women in her own kitchen, naming her school L’sécole des trois gourmandes.

Child wrote multiple cookbooks, starting with the 734-page “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” which is still in print. Her TV career skyrocketed in 1963 with her first cooking show, The French Chef, where she was known for her enthusiasm and charm.

This month, Knopf released a new book remembering Child’s life. Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child is written by Bob Spitz. PBS.org has also been celebrating Child’s birthday for the past 10 days, showing never-before-streamed episodes of her classic shows and tributes from celebrity chefs.

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