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Julia Child Foundation Announces First Culinary Award in Her Honor

Julia Child Foundation Announces First Culinary Award in Her Honor

It has been 11 years since Julia Child, the mother of French-American cooking and the first face of culinary television, passed away. This year, the Julia Child Foundation announced the first annual Julia Child Award, which will be presented every year to a chef who “encourages people to cook for themselves, to better understand where food comes from, to value eating and drinking and the importance that both can play in improving the quality of life,” according to the foundation’s statement.

"There's a list of about half a dozen characteristics they are looking for. It's looking at what Julia represented and why she was so successful, that combination of education and entertainment, passion and commitment to the subject," Todd Shulkin, executive director of the Julia Child Foundation told the Associated Press. "We're looking at trying to shine a spotlight on people who are prodding change, challenging what Americans are eating and drinking, and encouraging them to cook for themselves."

The first winner will be announced in August 15, Julia Child’s birthday, and the award itself will be presented in October at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Instead of a cash prize, the winner will receive a $50,000 grant to “pay it forward” to a food-related nonprofit group. Even though the winner will not be announced for months, there is much speculation over who the first recipient will be. An obvious choice is Alice Waters, another Californian chef and culinary icon. Other possible choices include Jacques Pepin, an iconic chef and close friend of Julia Child, and Thomas Keller. Both Waters and Keller appear on The Daily Meal’s list of the 50 Most Influential People in Food.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, consisting of Jim Dodge (director of specialty culinary programs for Bon Appétit Management Co.), Darra Goldstein (cookbook author and professor of Russian at Williams College), Russ Parsons (food columnist of the Los Angeles Times), Nancy Silverton (co-owner of the Mozza restaurant group), and Jasper White (owner and executive chef of Jasper White’s Summer Shack restaurants in Massachusetts and Connecticut).


Cafe Society: Santa Barbara says 'bon appetit!' to new event honoring Julia Child

Julia Child wears a patch for L'ecole des Trois Gourmands (The School of the Three Happy Eaters) while on the set of her PBS cooking show, "The French Chef." The school was founded in Paris, France, in the 1950s by Child and Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, her co-authors for "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." (Photo: PHOTO COURTESY OF SCHLESINGER LIBRARY, RADCLIFFE INSTITUTE, HARVARD UNIVERSITY)

On what would have been Julia Child's 107th birthday, the California girl turned master of French cuisine got two presents.

For the first, Aug. 15 was proclaimed annual "Julia Child Day" by Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo during a party on the same date at the Montecito Club.

The gathering was also expected to serve as the official announcement of plans for the inaugural Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, which will feature local farms, chefs, restaurants and more when it is co-presented by the Santa Barbara-based Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts from March 13-15, 2020.

Specific details were expected to be released Thursday during the combination birthday party and fundraiser, which took place after the deadline for this column.

In addition to Murillo's proclamation, the event was slated to include a live auction of Founders Circle seats for a dinner for 40 at The Lark, where executive chef Jason Paluska will be joined by James Beard Foundation award winners Nancy Silverton, Suzanne Goin and Michael Cimarusti in preparing a menu inspired by Child and her recipes.

Potential bidders were to be greeted with glasses of local wine, birthday cake by The Little Things Bakery and some of Child's favorite hors d'oeuvres prepared by Montecito Club executive chef Jamie West, who often assisted Child at culinary events in the years leading up to her death in 2004. (For his story about traveling with Child to a fancy food and wine festival in Carmel and stopping at the In-N-Out Burger in Santa Maria on the way home, see the "Driving Julia Child" section of this column.)

Chef Jamie West and Julia Child are seen in a 2002 photo taken during a Santa Barbara event marking Child's 90th birthday. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/STAR ARCHIVE)

The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience isn't the first multi-day event to connect the city's food scene with one of its most famous former residents. Also co-presented by the Julia Child Foundation, the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend had a four-year run at the Bacara Resort & Spa before the Goleta property changed hands and turned into The Ritz-Carlton Bacara in late 2017.

The nonprofit foundation was created by Child in 1995 and became operational in 2004, according to media materials. Its mission is to further Child's legacy by offering grants to support food literacy programs, culinary history research and scholarships for professional culinary training, food writing and media. It has distributed more than $2 million in grants over the past decade.

In 2015, the foundation introduced the Julia Child Award, presented in association with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The honoree this year is Michelin-starred chef José Andrés, who announced in advance of the Nov. 7 awards ceremony that he will donate its $50,000 grant to World Central Kitchen, the disaster-relief organization he founded in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. (WCK also established operations in Ventura County after the Thomas and Woolsey fires of 2017 and 2018, respectively.)

Child was born in Pasadena, earned a degree in history from Smith College and helped develop a shark repellent while working for the Office of Strategic Resources during WWII before a life-changing trip to France inspired her to co-write "Mastering the Art of French Cuisine."

Publication of the cookbook in 1961 led to the debut two years later of her PBS cooking show, "The French Chef." Dozens of cookbooks and TV shows followed, along with one unforgettable "Saturday Night Live" impersonation by Dan Aykroyd in the late 1970s.

Meryl Streep portrays Julia Child in "Julie & Julia," the 2009 film based in part on a blog by Julie Powell. Photo by David Giesbrecht, Sony Pictures (Via MerlinFTP Drop) (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SONY PICTURES)

In 2002, Julie Powell helped introduce Child to a new pop-culture generation when she cooked her way through all 524 recipes in "Mastering" and shared the results in her blog, The Julie/Julia Project, still online at https://bit.ly/2H8Mc2z. The blog led to a book and the 2009 film "Julie & Julia," starring Meryl Streep as the 6-foot-2 culinary icon.

Child and husband Paul Child, who died in 1994, started spending winters in their Santa Barbara County condo in the early 1980s. Julia Child made the move for good in 2001, the same year she donated the kitchen of their Cambridge, Mass., home to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where it is on permanent display.

For Child, the move to Montecito was something of a homecoming. She spent childhood summers staying with her family in a group of gray-shingled houses that were moved in 1927 to make way for the construction of what is now the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

She also regularly visited Ojai to see cousins enrolled at Thacher School. In the summer of 1946, Julia and Paul returned to the valley for the start of a cross-country road trip that culminated in their wedding – and, ultimately, the trip to France that started it all.

For updates on the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, click on https://sbce.events.

DRIVING JULIA CHILD

Now the executive chef at the Montecito Club, Jamie West was a chef at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito when he first met Julia Child in the late 1990s. He told this story to The Star in 2009, when he was executive chef at the Ojai Valley Inn.

"I remember thinking the first night she came in, 'Ohmigosh, I’m cooking for Julia Child!' I just wanted to make sure I did the best for her that I could the feeling was very similar to knowing that there is a critic in your restaurant.

"That specific night she had rack of lamb, with red wine. I’m pretty sure it was a pinot noir. She loved pinot noir.

Julia Child, the late author of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and star of "The French Chef," is the inspiration behind the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, set to debut in March 2020. It is co-presented by the Santa Barbara-based Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. (Photo: PHOTO COURTESY OF/PAUL CHILD, SCHLESINGER LIBRARY, RADCLIFFE INSTITUTE, HARVARD UNIVERSITY)

"That was the first of many meals I cooked for her. She didn’t make things complicated. She would call me up to tell me she was coming for lunch. She’d say, 'It would be so nice to have a nice Boston clam chowder today I’m really craving that.' So I’d have time to make it for her.

"Later, when I’d gotten to know her fairly well, she asked me to be her 'hands' at a Masters of Food & Wine demonstration. I drove her from Santa Barbara to Carmel and back for the event.

"On the way up the coast, we ate In-N-Out burgers in the car. On the way back, we went inside to order at the In-N-Out Burger in Santa Maria. A young woman behind the counter kept looking at us. Then she whispered to me: 'Is that Julia Child?' It was great how people of all ages knew who she was.

"Spending time with Julia in public was pretty interesting. People would come up and tell her stories of how they watched her on TV and how she had impacted their lives. I asked her once if she ever got tired of it. She said: 'I don’t get at all tired. They took the time to come see me the very least I can do is listen.'

"She was such an icon that it could be hard to think of her as a 'real' person. But I also remember sitting with her in the car, or in her living room, having conversations about normal, everyday things as if I were talking to my grandmother."

THE HOURS

Edelweiss German Bierhaus in Newbury Park has new hours that involve closing between lunch and dinner.


Julia Child Foundation Announces First Culinary Award in Her Honor - Recipes

Famous chef, author, and television personality, Julia Child made French cuisine accessible to American audiences. She was one of the first women to host her own cooking show on television, providing tips and lessons on how to prepare French food simply and easily.

Born on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena California, Julia Carolyn McWilliams, grew up in a life of wealth and privilege. Her father was a banker and landowner, while her mother had came from the Weston family, owners of the Weston Paper Company in Massachusetts. Her father was civic minded and sought to instill such values in his children.

The Weston family typically sent their children to boarding school. For her high school education, Child was sent to the Katharine Branson School for Girls, a preparatory school in Northern California. Here, she attended classes in Latin, French, history, and mathematics to prepare her for college. Child also engaged in a wide range of sporting activities including: tennis, swimming, and basketball. Although not very scholastic, she was quite popular at school and was active in a number of school groups. Growing to a height of six feet, two inches, Child was the natural choice to be captain of the school’s basketball team. She was also president of the Vagabonds, a hiking club.

Child’s parents always intended for her to go on to college after high school. Her mother and aunt had attended Smith College in Massachusetts, so Child also attended the school. She majored in history and was quite active in college clubs, including the Grass Cops, an organization that’s mission was to keep students off the campus’ lawns.

After graduating from Smith College in 1934, Child moved back to California. However, in 1935, she returned to Massachusetts in order to take a secretarial course at the Packard Commercial School. After a month of training, Child quit the course because she had found a secretarial job with W. J. Sloane, a home furnishings company, in New York City. She worked for this company until 1939, when she was fired for insubordination over a mix up with a document.

In September 1941, Child began to volunteer with the Pasadena chapter of the American Red Cross to help get the country ready for war. There she headed the Department of Stenographic Services and worked in the Aircraft Warning Service. She also wanted to join the military, and applied to join the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the Women’s Army Corps (WACs). However, Child was rejected from both organizations because of her height. She was too tall. Wanting to become more involved in the war effort, she moved to Washington, DC in 1942. In August of that year, she become a senior typist with the Research Unit of the Office of War Information. At the close of 1942, Child took up the position of junior research assistant with the Secret Intelligence Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a forerunner to the CIA. She undertook a variety of positions at the OSS, including clerk at the director’s office and administrative assistant in the Registry of OSS. She also eagerly volunteered to work for OSS overseas. From 1944-1945, she kept intelligence files for the OSS in India. The following year, she worked for the organization in China.

Following the war, she married Paul Child, whom she had met while working for the OSS in India. Paul Child worked for the US Foreign Service. In 1948, the couple was posted to Paris for Paul’s work. It was in Paris, that Child began to take cooking seriously. She enrolled in the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.

During this time, she also met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Together the three women published Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961. This book brought French cooking and cookery techniques to the American public. It also launched Child on her cooking career, which lasted for over forty years.

The Childs returned to the United States in the 1960s and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At this time, Child was approached by television executives to host a cooking show, The French Chef, based on her book. The first program was shown on what came to be known as PBS in 1963 and remained on the air for a decade. It brought Child national and international recognition. She also won a Peabody and Emmy Award for the program. She went on to publish several more cookbooks, including a second volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She also hosted several other television series, including Cooking with Master Chefs and Julia Child & Jacques Pépin Cooking at Home, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award.

She established organizations to inspire others to share her love of food and to expand people’s awareness of cooking. She co-founded the American Institute of Wine and Food in 1981, and created the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts in 1995. For her work, she was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from numerous schools, including Harvard University and Brown University.

Child died on August 13, 2004, having left a legacy of culinary art and education. Her kitchen, made famous by her cooking programs, was donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. By visiting the Smithsonian museum, thousands of people now peek into Child’s kitchen each year. The US Postal Service marked Child’s achievements, when they included her in the 2014 “Celebrity Chefs Forever” stamp series.


New popularity

In 1961 Paul retired, and the Childs settled in a large house with a well-equipped kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Julia's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was published the same year. With its clear instructions and explanations and its many useful photographs, it was an immediate success. Child was hailed as an expert, and she began writing articles on cooking for magazines and newspapers. In 1963, after appearing on a television panel show, Child began a weekly half-hour cooking program, The French Chef. This proved even more successful than her book: her off-beat style, good humor, knowledge, and flair for teaching made her very popular. Her work was recognized with a Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy Award in 1966.

The French Chef Cookbook, based on the television series, was published in 1968. More well-received cookbooks and television shows followed, and in the 1970s and 1980s Child wrote regular columns for magazines and made many appearances on television in addition to hosting her own show. She was also a founder of the American Institute of Wine and Food, an association of restaurants dedicated to increasing knowledge of food and wine.


Julia Child Foundation Announces First Culinary Award in Her Honor - Recipes

"This really is the ULTIMATE cookie book. Whimsical, elegant, colorful, and creative!! What more could you ask for? You will not be disappointed.&rdquo

Celebrity Cake Decorator Owner, Colette's Cakes

Ever since sampling the dazzling pink daisy cookies at her first cookie swap, Julia has been a lover of all things sweet. As a young child, Julia cultivated her budding cooking skills by riding the apron strings of her mom – an accomplished home baker who ran a tight kitchen. “Make it from scratch or keep it out of your mouth” was her mother’s favorite mantra. By the age of 12 – while other kids were still tinkering with their Easy-Bake ovens – Julia was wowing friends and families with lavishly decorated yeast breads and multi-layer tortes. (Julia was also known on occasion to whip up a very lifelike soap and mud frosting cake for her sometimes pesky little sister.)

Julia worked as a mechanical engineer and management consultant after graduating from Yale in 1984, but even while climbing the corporate ladder, she never put aside her appetite for baking. In 1994, Julia decided to turn her passion into her profession by enrolling in the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. She graduated valedictorian, receiving the coveted M.F.K. Fisher Prize for outstanding scholarship in 1996. One year later, Julia opened AzucArte, a boutique bakery widely lauded for its wedding cakes that tasted as wonderful as they looked.

After tiring of relentless weekend work, Julia closed her shop in 2005 and turned to writing and food styling to satisfy her sweet tooth. She became Contributing Editor at Dessert Professional, a 2008 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards finalist, and an entertaining consultant, party producer, and prop stylist for St. Louis AT HOME magazine. Over the next four years, her work, written and edible, appeared in Vera Wang on Weddings, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Better Homes and Gardens, Mary Engelbreit&rsquos Home Companion, Gastronomica, Woman’s World, Where Women Cook, and nearly every national bridal magazine.

In 2009, Julia released her first book, Cookie Swap, which subsequently won three prestigious Cordon d’ Or Awards, including one for Best in Competition. And in 2011, she released a second book, Ultimate Cookies, an inspirational collection of edible cookie art projects endorsed by celebrity cake designers Kerry Vincent and Colette Peters. Never one to rest on her laurels, Julia went on to turn her books into e-books and a cookie decorating app that includes 15 instructional videos along with in-depth technique instruction and 20 incredible cookie projects.

Pink Daisy Cookies Dazzle in Cookie Swap
Photo by Steve Adams


Julia in a Rare Moment Away from Her Kitchen
Photo by Karen Forsythe

More recently, Julia has gained worldwide recognition as a leading sugar artist, with a specialty in 3-D cookie decorating. When not making instructional videos for her popular YouTube channel Recipes for a Sweet Life, Julia operates Cookie Connection, the world’s largest online community for cookie decorators teaches decorating classes across the globe and judges various sugar art competitions, including her namesake cookie competition at the acclaimed Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show (OSSAS), the Cookie Connection annual Cookiers’ Choice Awards, and Cake Masters magazine’s annual awards.

In 2013, Julia won Cake Masters’ first-ever Cookier of the Year award in 2014, she received the coveted Medal of Honor from OSSAS for her outstanding contributions to the sugar arts community and, in 2016, she was recognized as both Artist of the Year USA and International Artist of the Year by Edible Artists Global Awards (EAGA). She was also a finalist for four 2016 TASTE awards related to her video work on YouTube, and launched a cookie stencil line in partnership with Stencil Ease, the country’s largest producer of craft and household stencils.

Julia is a Past President of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, a founding member of the St. Louis chapter of Les Dames d&rsquo Escoffier International, and a three-time President of the St. Louis Culinary Society. In addition to her degree from Yale, Julia holds a master&rsquos degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Stanford.


Julia Child Foundation Announces First Culinary Award in Her Honor - Recipes

CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS NAMED 2019 JULIA CHILD AWARD RECIPIENT

BY THE JULIA CHILD FOUNDATION

5th annual award presented at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

(LOS ANGELES, CA, JUNE 11, 2019): Today, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts announced José Andrés as the recipient of the fifth annual Julia Child Award. Andrés will receive the Award at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. during the Museum’s gala on November 7, 2019. The Award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation, which Andrés plans to give to World Central Kitchen to further its humanitarian efforts around the world.

“On behalf of the Foundation’s Trustees, we are delighted the Julia Child Award jury has recognized the profound and significant impact José Andrés continues to make on the way America cooks, eats and understands its relationship to the rest of the world,” said Eric W. Spivey, Chairman of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. “José’s passion and ability to act independent of conventions or the status quo, combined with his commitment to the greater good, has made him not only an innovative and supremely influential teacher, but also someone Julia would have both admired and applauded.”

“For me to win this award, it is such an honor. Her influence is everywhere,” said Chef Andrés. “I still think about her show, the one with the chicken. She took her cooking seriously but at the same time knew how to have fun with the food. This is what cooking is all about.”

The Award, which celebrates its five-year anniversary, will be presented to Andrés at the National Museum of American History during the museum’s gala and kicks off the fifth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend, held November 7-9, 2019. The gala features multiple award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher Andrew Zimmern as emcee and inaugural Julia Child Award winner Jacques Pépin will present the Award to Andrés. The 2018 IACP Julia Child First Book Award winner, author, teacher and TV personality Samin Nosrat and award-winning chef and restaurateur Ann Cashion will both speak. Previous Julia Child Award recipients Rick Bayless, Danny Meyer, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger will also be in attendance to commemorate the five-year milestone. The gala supports the Museum’s American Food History project. Andrés and his team will create the evening’s menu to reflect his prestigious career and culinary inspirations.

The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts established the Julia Child Award in 2015 to continue to foster Julia’s legacy, while also honoring an individual (or team) who has made a
profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats and drinks. After honoring Andrés, the Foundation will have made $250,000 in award-related-grants to culinary non-profits and non-profit projects in the last five years. Created by Julia Child, the Foundation is one of the leading grant-giving private foundations solely dedicated to supporting the field of gastronomy and the culinary arts.

This year the Julia Child Award welcomed two new jurors, Andrew F. Smith and Tina Ujlaki, both of New York City. Smith teaches food studies courses at the New School in New York City and is the author, or editor, of more than thirty-two books. Ujlaki was the longtime Executive Food Editor at Food & Wine and is currently a freelance consultant, editor, recipe tester and developer. They join Carla Hall from Washington, D.C, a chef and cookbook author, formerly a co-host of ABC’s Emmy award-winning series “The Chew,” and competitor on “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars” and Stephan Pyles, chef/proprietor of Flora Street Café in Dallas and a founding father of new southwestern cuisine and modern Texas cuisine, as well as jury chair, Jim Dodge of San Francisco, Director of Specialty Culinary Programs for Bon Appetit Management Company. The Award is overseen by Award Director Tanya Wenman Steel, journalist, author, conceiver of the Kids’ State Dinner at the White House and Executive Director of IACP. For more information on the jury go to: juliachildaward.com/jurors.

To learn more about the Foundation and its work, please visit: juliachildfoundation.org. To learn more about the Julia Child Award, including past recipients, please visit: juliachildaward.com. Information about the Smithsonian’s fifth annual Food History Weekend and tickets to the November 7, 2019 gala can be found at: http://s.si.edu/FoodHistoryWknd.

About The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts

The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts was created by Julia in 1995 and became operational in 2004. Its mission is to honor and further Julia’s legacy, which centers on the importance of understanding where food comes from, what makes for good food, and the value of cooking. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, the Foundation is a non-profit which makes grants to support research in culinary history, scholarships for professional culinary training, food writing and media as well as professional development and food literacy programs. Over the last decade, the Foundation has made more than $2 million in grants to other non-profits. For more information, visit: juliachildfoundation.org.

About Chef José Andrés

Twice named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times best-selling author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of more than 30 restaurants, including two with two Michelin stars: minibar by José Andrés in Washington, D.C., and Somni at the SLS Beverly Hills. As a naturalized citizen originally from Spain, Andrés has been a tireless advocate for immigration reform. In 2010, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that provides smart solutions to end hunger and poverty by using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. Notably, his team served nearly 4 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, an experience about which he wrote the bestselling book We Fed An Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time. Andrés has earned numerous awards, including the 2015 National Humanities Medal.

About Food History at the National Museum of American History


Leap year deals

Feb. 29 only comes around once every four years, inspiring some restaurant chains to offer Leap Day specials when it does.

On the list for 2020 is Farmer Boys, which opened its first Ventura County location last month in Newbury Park. "Leaplings" born on Feb. 29 will receive a free Big Cheese cheeseburger when they show photo ID at participating restaurants – a group that includes the new location (1057 Academy Drive, 805-480-0500, https://www.farmerboys.com).

Villa Italian Kitchen is also getting in on the action. The chain, which has one Ventura County location in the Camarillo Premium Outlets food court, will offer one free slice of Neapolitan cheese pizza to any Leap Day birthday celebrant bearing valid ID that includes their birthdate (740 E. Ventura Blvd., 805-484-9190, https://www.villaitaliankitchen.com).


Julia Child Foundation Announces First Culinary Award in Her Honor - Recipes

Explore our timeline to learn about Julia's life, career, and accomplishments. Use the arrows to move backward and forward, or navigate by year below.

100 Years of Julia Child /> />

August 15 - Julia Carolyn McWilliams is born the eldest of three children in Pasadena, California. Julia's father, John McWilliams, was a 1901 Princeton graduate who achieved a successful career in agricultural land management and real estate. Her mother, Julia Carolyn (Caro) Weston, Smith College class of 1900, was from Dalton, MA, the daughter of the founder of the Weston Paper Company, and a lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. Julia (6'3" at her full height) is the eldest of three children about whom Caro would someday boast, "I have produced 18 feet of children."

1912 /> />

Mother Caro with Julia at her christening.

1912 /> />

Julia and brother John with Grandmother McWilliams.

1914 /> />

On a fountain with John and cousins Alice and Dana &ndash 1915-1916.

1915 /> />

Gone fishing with Johnnie &ndash circa 1920.

1920 /> />

Julia goes to Tijuana with her family, meets Caesar Cardini, and eats Caesar Salad. Julia writes about the experience in her book, From Julia's Kitchen, "One of my early remembrances of restaurant life was going to Tijuana in 1925 or 1926 with my parents, who were wildly excited that they should finally lunch at Caesar's restaurant. Tijuana, just south of the Mexican border from San Diego, was flourishing then, in the Prohibition era. Word spread about Tijuana and the good life, and about Caesar Cardini's restaurant, and about Caesar's salad.

1925 /> />

The McWilliams children &ndash circa 1927-1928.

1927 /> />

A high school aged Julia &ndash circa 1930.

1930 /> />

Sister Dorothy and Julia at the beach in St. Malo, CA &ndash circa 1930.

1930 /> />

Growing McWiliams siblings, which Caro would call her "18 feet of children" &ndash circa 1930.

1930 /> />

High School graduation &ndash circa 1930.

1930 /> />

Off to college &ndash circa 1930.

1930 /> />

. and onto the slopes – circa 1932.

1932 /> />

A history major, Julia graduates from Smith College. "I was enrolled in Smith College at birth and eventually graduated from there in 1934 with a degree in history," Julia wrote in her memoir, My Life in France. "At Smith I did some theater, a bit of creative writing, and played basketball. But I was a pure romantic, and only operating with half my burners on I spent most of my time there just growing up."

1934 /> />

Julia moves to Manhattan to pursue aspirations of becoming a writer. She finds a job working as a copywriter in the advertising department of an upscale home furnishings firm, W. & J. Sloane. "My plan after college was to become a famous woman novelist," she wrote in My Life in France.

1935 /> />

Julia returns to California to help her ailing mother, who dies of high blood pressure at the age of sixty. Julia spends several years close to home writing for local publications and working in advertising.

1937 /> />

Eager to help in her country's efforts during World War II, Julia is hired as a typist for the U.S. Information Agency in Washington D.C. She is transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, where she works directly with its leader, General William J. (Wild Bill) Donovan. She is first a research assistant in the Secret Intelligence division and later a researcher helping to develop shark repellent, a critical tool because sharks would sometimes set off the explosives intended for German U-boats. "I was too tall for the WACs and WAVES, but eventually joined the OSS, and set out into the world looking for adventure," she writes in My Life in France.

1942 /> />

Julia is posted to Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka) and later Kunming, China. Her responsibilities include handling highly classified information. According to the CIA, Julia ultimately served as Chief of the OSS Registry. Having top security clearances, Julia knew every incoming and outgoing message that passed through her office, as her Registry was serving all the intelligence branches. While in Ceylon she meets the older, worldly gourmet Paul Child, who had come down from Delhi, India to head the OSS's Visual Presentation group.

1944 /> />

Julia in a rubber grove, photographed by Paul Child &ndash Ceylon 1944.

1944 /> />

Paul and Julia return to the U.S. and take a few months getting to know each other as civilians. Over the summer, they visit her father and stepmother in Pasadena, then drive across the country to visit Paul's twin, Charlie, and his wife, Fredericka, in Maine. After a few days there, they announce their intention to marry. "It's about time!" the family replies. While home, Julia enrolls in a Los Angeles cooking school to prepare for married life, though she'd later admit her early forays in the kitchen were disastrous. Paul is quoted as saying, "I was willing to put up with that awful cooking to get Julia."

1945 /> />

September 1 - Julia McWilliams and Paul Child are married in Lumberville, Pennsylvania. The day before their wedding, Paul and Julia are in a car accident, and they're married – happily – with stitches and bandages.

1946 /> />

Julia and Paul Child on their wedding day, September 1, 1946

1946 /> />

Paul takes a position with the U.S. Foreign Service and they spend a year or so living in Washington D.C. before he is posted to Paris as part of the U.S. Information Service, attached to the American Embassy. Their move begins a six-year adventure living in Paris, Marseilles, Germany, and Norway. Julia's first meal in France was at La Couronne restaurant in Rouen. She and Paul enjoyed Chablis, oysters, and Sole Meunière – a meal that she described as "the most exciting meal of my life."

1948 /> />

Julia enrolls in the famed Parisian cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu. After a false start in a "housewife" level class, and deemed unqualified for a six-week haute cuisine course for experts, she is placed in a yearlong program for professional restaurateurs with eleven former GIs. Her instructor and mentor is chef Max Bugnard, who had worked with Auguste Escoffier in London. Under his tutelage, Julia thrives.

1949 /> />

Julia officially graduates from Le Cordon Bleu, having failed her first exam in 1950 pursuing her dream of making a career out of cooking (a dream she described as "a bit sketchy on the details") meant re-taking the exam, which she did in April 1951. When Julia eventually received her diploma from the school, it was backdated to March 15, 1951.

1951 /> />

Julia is introduced to two French women, Simone (Simca) Beck and Louisette Bertholle, who are working together on a cookbook about French cooking for Americans and seeking an American collaborator. Soon after their meeting, the three women open a cooking school, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes (charging $5 per lesson), and begin working together on their book.

1952 /> />

With the help of friend Avis DeVoto – a well-connected former cookbook editor at Houghton Mifflin – Julia and her co-authors submit their 850-page manuscript, the result of seven years of collaboration, and their concept of multiple volumes to Houghton Mifflin, who find it to be too long and difficult to understand. After a major revision and a reduction to 684 pages, Houghton Mifflin again rejects the book. The manuscript eventually lands on the desk of Judith Jones, a young editor at Alfred A. Knopf, who strongly advocates taking a chance on the book. This marks the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration.

1958 /> />

Deciding to return to their native land, family and friends, Paul retires from public service. Julia and Paul settle into 103 Irving Street in Cambridge, MA, where Julia lived until she moved permanently to Montecito, CA in 2001. One of their first improvements is to redo the kitchen, which Paul designs.

1961 /> />

October - After nine years researching, writing, recipe testing, and editing, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One is published.

1961 /> />

Mastering the Art of French Cooking is named a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection 12,000 copies are distributed. Enthusiasm for the book has continued through the years – more than 3,000,000 copies have been printed to date. In September 2009, following the release of Sony Pictures' Julie & Julia, over 300,000 copies are sold in one month alone. The e-book edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking is released in October, 2011.

1962 /> />

February 11 - Julia's interview promoting Mastering on the TV show "I've Been Reading" – produced by Boston's public television station WGBH – launches her TV career. Having arrived with eggs, a whisk, and a copper bowl, Julia beats some egg whites "to enliven the talk." Twenty-seven viewers write to the station, wanting to see more. The station produced three pilots, and then launched into production of The French Chef, which aired locally in 1962. The show debuted nationally in February, 1963 and aired through July 1966 (when it went into re-runs through September 1970).

1963 /> />

Having teamed up with director/co-producer Russ Morash at WGBH, Julia wins the George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished achievement in television for The French Chef. Over the course of her career, Julia filmed more than 350 episodes of TV. About The French Chef TV series, excerpted from The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child.

1964 /> />

Christmas 1965 marks Julia and Paul's first visit to their home in Provence, built on property belonging to Simca and her husband, Jean Fischbacher. They call it "La Pitchoune," a Provencal word meaning the "little one." Soon it affectionately becomes referred to as "La Peetch." Julia would keep the house until 1992.

1965 /> />

Julia wins a Primetime Emmy® Award for "Achievement in Educational Television" for The French Chef, becoming the first educational television personality ever to receive an Emmy in open competition.

1966 /> />

Julia is on the cover of Time magazine, which dubs her "Our Lady of the Ladle." The feature story describes Julia as the 54-year old, 6-ft.-2-inch tall star of The French Chef, whose "viewers on 104 educational TV stations across the U.S. watch her every move, forgive her every gaffe, and in a word, adore her. Manhattan matrons refuse to dine out the night she is on. When Washington D.C.'s WETA interrupted her program to carry Lyndon Johnson live, the station's switchboard was jammed for an hour."

1966 /> />

Julia is awarded L'Ordre du Mérite Agricole. Established in 1883, the French National Order of Agricultural Merit is presented to individuals for services to agriculture by France's Ministère de l'Agriculture.

1967 /> />

Julia's second book, The French Chef Cookbook, a compilation of the recipes from 119 programs of the first TV series, is published. The recipes appear in the order in which the shows were produced, beginning with the fourteenth show. "This is because the first thirteen shows no longer exist," Julia explains in the book's introduction. "When we started, The French Chef was purely a local New England program, and before WGBH-TV realized duplicates were needed to serve other educational stations throughout the country the first thirteen tapes had worn out. "

1968 /> />

With Julia complaining that "I need at least five more years to get this book right," editor Judith Jones holds firm to the March deadline for the manuscript of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two. Co-authored with Simone Beck, it is published in October.

1970 /> />

A new The French Chef series debuts in color. The first season is described as "a tour of the French Classics, a refresher course for experienced cooks and a jet-assist take off for beginners." The theme for the second season is "The French Chef Faces Life" – Julia shows viewers how to cope with situations that reflect the "demands of society," such as family and getting kids involved in cooking, unexpected company, or a three-course sit-down dinner. In total, The French Chef series would span approximately 200 episodes.

1970 /> />

Having noticed slight chest pains for several years, Paul is diagnosed as having blocked blood vessels. He undergoes a bypass, then a relatively new procedure that, perhaps from oxygen deprivation, leaves him with "mental scrambles." Regardless, he is by Julia's side constantly. In 1989, he suffers a series of strokes and Julia cuts back her work and travel schedule.

1974 /> />

From Julia Child's Kitchen is published. The book is dedicated to the premise that "French cooking is simply good cooking" and contains all the recipes that were demonstrated on the second color series of The French Chef, while expanding, for the first time, into some popular American favorites.

1975 /> />

Julia adds to her collection of beautiful French medals with the prestigious L'Ordre National du Mérite. Established in 1963, the National Order of Merit is awarded by the President of the French Republic for distinguished civil and military achievements.

1976 /> />

Julia receives an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Boston University's May Commencement. It is one of more than ten honorary doctorates Julia will receive, including from Bates College, Brown University, Rutgers University, Smith College, and Harvard University – where her citation reads, "A Harvard friend and neighbor who has filled the air with common sense and uncommon scents. Long may her soufflés rise."

1976 /> />

Julia Child & Company airs on PBS for 13 episodes – a different show from the beginning. Julia and her team felt it was time to move away from purely French tradition so they created a beautiful new set and a series built around planning, shopping, cooking and presenting menus for everyday occasions. The companion book, Julia Child & Company, is published in 1978.

1978 /> />

Julia's second cooking-for-company TV series, Julia Child & More Company, airs 13 episodes on PBS. Its companion book, Julia Child & More Company, is also published.

1979 /> />

Julia begins regular appearances on ABC's Good Morning America, which continue through the '80s. The three-minute segments would set the stage for a new era of cooking on television. In 1985, Julia traveled to Italy for GMA, filming a five-part series celebrating Italian food and culture, "Julia Child in Italy." The series was so successful - ABC got letters from over 100,000 people - that it was aired again in 1987.

1980 /> />

Julia, Robert Mondavi, and Richard Graff establish The American Institute of Wine & Food in San Francisco with the ambitious mission "to advance the understanding, appreciation and quality of wine and food."

1981 /> />

Julia begins a monthly cooking column for Parade Magazine, which, says editor Judith Jones, was "perfect because it wasn't elitist. Julia wanted to bring her message to the average home cook and make that person a better cook. She was able to reach people all over America." She would continue the column through 1986.

1982 /> />

Twenty years after the debut of The French Chef, Julia films Dinner At Julia's. Each program includes a "gathering" sequence, filmed at various locations in California, in which Julia goes to the source for an ingredient. Each episode culminates around a dinner party hosted in Santa Barbara. Guest chefs attend, including James Beard. The show runs for 13 episodes on PBS.

1983 /> />

Julia completes 6 one-hour instructional videos entitled The Way to Cook with publisher Knopf, which share the same title as her 1989 cookbook but are not related. The Way to Cook DVD is released December, 2009.

1985 /> />

Julia's tome, The Way to Cook, which represents the accumulation of her French training and thirty years of cooking in America, is published. Editor Judith Jones explains, "Julia was always very open to new ideas, products, equipment, and attitudes and embraced the ones that she believed in. The Way to Cook is made up of so many of those influences. I did push her to make this book more personal than Mastering. It's all Julia."

1989 /> />

Believing that the field of gastronomy is worthy of serious study, Julia and Jacques Pépin, chef and cookbook author, work with Boston University to launch a Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) degree in Gastronomy – a unique, multidisciplinary program that encompasses the arts, the humanities, and the natural and social sciences.

1991 /> />

Julia Child's Menu Cookbook, combining the complete texts of Julia Child & Company and Julia Child & More Company in hardcover, is published.

1991 /> />

On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Julia attends countless parties in her honor, including large tributes in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and at home in Cambridge.

1992 /> />

Cooking with Master Chefs, which features Julia visiting celebrated chefs in their own kitchens throughout the country, airs on PBS. One of the 16 episodes, featuring Lidia Bastianich, is nominated for a 1994 Emmy Award. Other chefs include Emeril Lagasse, Jacques Pépin, and Alice Waters. Cooking with Master Chefs, companion book to the TV show, is published in 1993.

1993 /> />

Julia and Jacques Pépin cook, teach, and entertain "in concert" in their first one-hour special together, which airs on PBS. They would reunite in 1995 to cook, teach, and entertain on PBS in another special.

1993 /> />

Julia is the first woman inducted into The Culinary Institute of America's Hall of Fame, one of several distinctions she would receive from the school, including an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts and the school's first Lifetime Achievement Award.

1993 /> />

May 12 - Wherever she was in the world, Julia would talk to Paul daily, setting her alarm so he would receive her call at the same time of day. In The French Chef Cookbook Julia credits "Paul Child, the man who is always there: porter, dishwasher, official photographer, mushroom dicer and onion chopper, editor, fish illustrator, manager, taster, idea man, resident poet, and husband." The multi-talented Paul Child dies at age 92 in Lexington, MA.

1994 /> />

In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs airs on PBS. During the 39 episodes, Julia takes an in-depth look at contemporary American cooking alongside 26 chefs whom she invites into her Cambridge kitchen. In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs, companion book to the TV show, is published in 1995.

1994 /> />

Julia creates the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. The Foundation seeks to further Julia's passion for gastronomy and the culinary arts, her far-reaching impact as a teacher and mentor, and her lifelong love of learning.

1995 /> />

Julia is ranked #46 in TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time, edging out Howard Cosell, Bart Simpson, Ricky Nelson, and Ed Sullivan.

1996 /> />

Baking with Julia, featuring outstanding pastry chefs and bakers, teachers, and cookbook authors working with Julia, airs on PBS for 39 episodes. Baking with Julia, companion book to the TV show and written by Dorie Greenspan, is published in 1996.

1996 /> />

Julia wins a Daytime Emmy® for "Outstanding Service Show Host" for In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs, with producer Geoff Drummond.

1996 /> />

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home launches a 22-episode series on PBS. Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, companion book to the TV show, is published in 1999. The show and the book are enormously popular due to Julia and Jacques' chemistry as they present their cumulative cooking knowledge and a wide scope of techniques – about which they don't always agree.

1999 /> />

Conceived of as an essential compendium of Julia's wisdom and learning over the last forty years, Julia's Kitchen Wisdom is published. "It began as my loose-leaf kitchen reference guide, gradually compiled from my own trials, remedies, and errors – corrected as I've cooked my way through the years," she describes. Arranged according to type of ingredient with an emphasis on technique, the little volume is highly acclaimed. A two-hour special, Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, airs on PBS.

2000 /> />

Julia is awarded L'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honor), the highest decoration in France, for her services to French culinary arts.

2000 /> />

Julia is elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences – an honorary society that recognizes achievement in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.

2000 /> />

Julia is awarded a Daytime Emmy® for "Outstanding Service Show Host" for Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.

2001 /> />

Julia's Cambridge kitchen, which she donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, is unveiled in the museum and becomes one of its most popular exhibits. Listen to Julia's comments:

2002 />Audio Layer />

Julia is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, by President George W. Bush

2003 /> />

August 13 - Julia dies of kidney failure two days before her 92nd birthday in Montecito, California.

2004 /> />

Julia's memoir, My Life in France, co-written with her grandnephew, Alex Prud'homme, is published. The book spans her childhood through the years she spent living with Paul in France and Europe, learning how to cook and publishing Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia ends the book with. "And thinking back on it now reminds me that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite - toujours bon appétit!"

2006 /> />

August 15 - Julia's 100th birthday, August 15, 2012 is celebrated.

2012 /> />

The U.S. Postal Service® honors Julia's legacy along with four other revolutionary chefs with the release of the limited-edition Celebrity Chefs Forever® stamps. The other chefs featured are James Beard, Joyce Chen, Edna Lewis and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi. "Seeing cooking as a source of delight, they invited us to feast on regional and international flavors and were early but ardent champions of trends that many foodies now take for granted. As they shared their know-how, they encouraged us to undertake our own culinary adventures" - USPS.com


Food professionals honor writers for 2001 efforts

Serious baking was the star of the International Association of Culinary Professional cookbook awards as "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread," by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, $35), was named the best cookbook of the year. The book also won in the "bread, other baking and sweets" category. A baking book also won the reference category.

The awards, announced April 20 in San Diego at the conclusion of the IACP's annual convention, recognized books published during 2001. Also presented were awards for food newspaper and magazine writing and for professional achievement in the culinary world, such as the Lifetime Achievement award given to Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda's Inc., a 40-year-old specialty produce company in California.

The IACP is an organization of 4,000 food professionals, including chefs, cooking teachers, vintners, cookbook editors and food writers from around the world.

Chicago Tribune staff writer Kristin Eddy won the Bert Greene award for excellence in food journalism, newspaper category, for her series on spices that ran in the Tribune in 2001. Jeffrey Steingarten of Vogue won in the magazine category for an essay on salt in the July 2001 issue.

Books that won in other categories included:

American: "The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook," by the editors of Cook's Illustrated (Boston Common Press, $29.95)

International: "Savoring India: Recipes and Reflections on Indian Cooking," by Julie Sahni (Weldon Owen, $39)

Chefs and restaurants: "Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen," by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Knopf, $35)

Food reference/technical: "Professional Baking," by Wayne Gisslen (John Wiley & Sons, $60)

General: "A New Way to Cook," by Sally Schneider (Artisan, $40)

Health and special diet: "Healthy 1-2-3: The Ultimate Three-Ingredient Cookbook," by Rozanne Gold (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $35)

Literary: "On Rue Tatin," by Susan Herrmann Loomis (Broadway, $24)

Single subject: "How to Grill," by Steven Raichlen (Workman, $35)

Wine, spirits or beer: "Bordeaux: People, Power, and Politics," by Stephen Brook (Mitchell Beazley, $45)

The Julia Child award: For a writer's first cookbook, went to "Recipes From Home" (Artisan, $30), by Barbara Shinn and David Page of the New York restaurant Home.

The Jane Grigson Award: Named for the late British food writer, it was presented to two books this year: "The Glorious Foods of Greece," by Diane Kochilas (William Morrow, $40), and "Bordeaux: People, Power, and Politics," by Stephen Brook (Mitchell Beazley, $45). Each was said to exemplify "distinguished scholarship through the depth and quality of its research."

The design award: "Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux," by Birgitta Ralston and Frederic Lebain (Artisan, $35).


Then there’s the time Nancy Silverton made Julia Child cry

Jasper White 2015 meets Jasper White 1992, with Julia Child.

Famed New England chef Jasper White was taking a quick tour of the Julia Child’s kitchen exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in late June when he came face to face with himself from more than 20 years ago.

As one of Child’s favorite chefs and someone who had often cooked at her house, the kitchen — which was moved to the museum intact from her Cambridge, Mass., home — was very familiar to him.

But it became even more familiar when he turned a corner and found a television screen broadcasting one of Child’s old shows — including one in which he was teaching her how to make his special pan-roasted lobster.

White was at the museum for the judging of the newly created Julia Child Award, started by the foundation that bears her name in cooperation with the Smithsonian. The annual award will honor a food world figure who best represents Child’s legacy of education, innovation and mentorship.

The first winner will be announced Aug. 15, on what would have been Child’s 103rd birthday. At a gala event at the Smithsonian on Oct. 22, the winner will be presented $50,000 to donate to a charity of his or her choice.

White was not the only one experiencing a deja vu moment that day. Two of the other judges — Mozza’s Nancy Silverton and Bon Appetit Management Co.’s Jim Dodge — had also appeared on on her show “In Julia’s Kitchen With Master Chefs,” in which Child gave some of America’s best young chefs their first national television exposure.

The remaining judges were Darra Goldstein, the founding editor of the journal Gastronomica, awards director Tanya Steel, who has edited at Food & Wine, Gourmet and Epicurious, and myself. All three chefs have vivid memories of doing the show.

“When I did Julia’s show, there was a lot of talk about killing a lobster on TV,” White wrote in an e-mail. “A few months before, [‘Today Show’ host] Katie Couric had screamed after someone dropped a lobster into a pot of boiling water and the producers didn’t want Julia to take any heat.”

They talked through some alternative methods, but when White said the result wouldn’t be as good, Child stood firm.

“Julia decided we would not sacrifice flavor for animal-rights paranoia. I cut up the lobster in record time and Julia showed no emotion. She never did take any heat for it, but I did — TV Guide referred to me as the ‘cruel chef.’ ”

Silverton, who appeared in “In Julia’s Kitchen With Master Chefs” and “Baking With Julia,” remembers one particular taping including a moment of sheer terror, followed immediately by total bliss.

“Before the show, Julia took me aside and explained that she was not big on editing and that when I needed to wrap up my segment, she would tap me on my hip with her hand.

“Well, I am making this brioche tart with stone fruits and a hot wine syrup. I’m sauteing the fruits and putting the tart together when I get the tap. So, I quickly finish it off and cut a forkful and hand it to Julia who tastes it. There is silence.

“Then I see tears in her eyes and then she starts crying. I am thinking ‘Oh my, I’ve burned Julia Child.’ But, then Julia says, ‘That is the most delicious dessert I have ever had.’ ”

For Dodge, a longtime friend of Child and her husband, Paul, the tapings weren’t as memorable as some other moments, especially the grand opening of the Smithsonian exhibition in 2002.

“My favorite memory? Having her arm in mine as she entered for the first time her Cambridge kitchen at the Smithsonian American History Museum,” he e-mailed.

“Once inside she stopped, squeezed my arm and said, ‘How much Paul would have loved this, I am sorry he is not here to see it.’ For me this was just another reminder of what an incredible marriage they had.”

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Russ Parsons is a former Food writer and columnist and the former editor of the Food section at the Los Angeles Times.

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