© 2012 The Joy of Cooking Trust and the MRB Revocable Trust
Born in Pasadena, California, on August 15, 1912, to an upper-middle-class family, Julia barely knew how to boil water when she graduated with a history degree from Smith College in 1934. She aspired to be either a novelist or basketball player.
During World War II Julia served with the Office of Strategic Services (later the CIA), first in Washington, then in Ceylon and China. It was during this period that she met her future husband, Paul Child. When they married, her family gave her a copy of the 1943 Joy of Cooking and a subscription to Gourmet magazine. With these two publications, Julia learned to cook. After World War II, Paul was assigned to the U.S. Information Service at the American Embassy in Paris where Julia furthered her culinary skills, studying at the Cordon Bleu, one of France's premier cooking schools.
In collaboration with her two French colleagues, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, she wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This classic text and her long-running PBS show "The French Chef" helped persuade millions that they too could cook classic French cuisine.
Some of Julia Child books include:
See Julia's Kitchen at the Smithsonian
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
The book that started it all. When Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the product of nearly a decade of work, was first released in 1961, it started a revolution. This edition celebrates its 40th anniversary.