Come to the Party: Julia’s 102nd Birthday


Julia Child would have been 102 today. Gee, I still miss that woman’s treble when she spoke and I can’t forget her warmth, treating everyone she met as a friend. Like other writers in love with food, I’ve written a fair amount about Julia Child.

It’s about time for all the Best of Books for the year, so I thought, “Why not the Best of Julia,” Julia with her signature voice and ubiquitous pearls?

Many people don’t realize that Julia Child and M. F. K. Fisher were quite good friends. In 2011, I discovered some of their letters in the archives at the Schlesinger Library and wrote about their correspondence, albeit briefly: Parleyed Ham and Kitchen Breezes: The Letters of M. F. K. Fisher and Julia Child.

Here’s a piece about how much I loved her work, written for her 100th birthday in 2012: Dear Julia, Happy Birthday #100, or, Why I Loved You.

I’ve always admired Julia’s capacity for hospitality; her manner reminded me of the charism of Benedictine monks, who always greet the stranger with tolerance and acceptance. Hence, my meditation on Julia Child’s Benedictine-Infused Soul, a discussion of how Julia was a true Benedictine, and I don’t mean the drink!

Julia inspired a photo essay of mine about cooking boeuf bourguignon, one that I produced for a university-level photography class under the tutelage of Professor Han Gindlesberger: Les Rêves de Julia (Julia’s Dreams): Meditations and Memories

When Julia died, I felt that I’d lost a dear friend, even though I’d only met her once: Remembering Julia Child, “Our Lady of the Ladle”