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Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian


Story 6 [of 18] – Filming in the kitchen


"...the kitchen has worked perfectly for cooking lessons, demonstrations, and three TV shows..."


Julia’s last three cooking shows were taped in this kitchen at her home on Irving Street in Cambridge. Produced in the 1990s by A La Carte Communications they included: In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, Baking with Julia, and Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home. When viewers of these programs visit the exhibition they will recognize certain details, like the knives attached to wall-mounted magnetic strips between the windows, but the center of the room will seem very different. That’s because the kitchen table and chairs were removed to the attic during taping to accommodate the lights, cameras, and cooking action by Julia and her guest chefs. They were replaced by a cooking island that had a built-in stovetop and food preparation surfaces.


Other alterations to the kitchen (and the rest of the house) could not be seen by a television audience, but the alterations were substantial. Crews removed a lower and upper kitchen cabinet so the cameras could be stationed in the pastry pantry doorway. Julia's dining room was turned into a studio. All the prep work for the cooking was done by staff in the basement. Julia’s previous shows, beginning with The French Chef in 1962, were all taped in studio kitchens in the Boston area.


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