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Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian
Sample Stories from the French Chef
Read these sample stories to discover more about Julia child, her kitchen and her long love affair with cooking.



Story 1Julia and World War II

In 1944, Julia was one of several OSS men and women who traveled overseas to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on assignment. It was there that she met Paul Cushing Child, who was also serving in the OSS. Read More


Story 2Falling in Love with Food/Finding a Career

Julia went to France in 1948, accompanying Paul to his State Department appointment. Enroute to Paris, a dinner in Rouen was a transforming experience. Read More


Story 3Paul Child

"There would be no French Chef without him, that's for sure...Paul Child, the man who is always there..." Read More


Story 4The French Chef

"There was this woman tossing French omelettes, splashing eggs about the place, brandishing big knives, panting heavily as she careened about the stove… and WGBH lurched into educational television’s first cooking program." Read More


Story 5A Nice Bottle of Chateau Gravée Mastere

On The French Chef, Julia introduced Americans to the post-fifties “homemaker” image of the American family cook by normalizing the very European habit of drinking wine with meals. Read More


Story 6Filming in the Kitchen

Julia’s last three cooking shows were taped in this kitchen at her home on Irving Street. Produced in the 1990s, they included: In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, Baking with Julia, and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. Read More


Story 7Fans Fans Everywhere!

By her own example, she inspired people to try something new in the kitchen, and to not be mortified if things didn't work out perfectly. Read some stories from visitors to Bon Appetit! Read More


Story 8Cooking Lessons

Julia’s training at the Cordon Bleu was the foundation for her lifelong commitment to the perfection of skills and for her desire to train others, male and female, who wanted to cook. Read More


Story 9"When you follow my recipes, you know how to do it."

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Story 10Making French Bread at home

One of Julia’s culinary triumphs consumes 22 pages in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume II, where she shares her technique for making “real French bread”. Read More


Story 11Designing Her 9th Kitchen

When Paul and Julia Child moved into their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1961, there was work to be done with the kitchen. Read More


Story 12Signs of Julia

The kitchen and even Julia’s early cooking shows were filled with signs (and labels) of all sorts, and those signs and labels reflected Julia’s sense of organization as well as her sense of humor. Read More


Story 13Everything has a history

While the kitchen is primarily the workspace of a master craftsman, it is also an intensely personalized space where everything that Julia saw and used on a daily basis provoked memory. Read More


Story 14"I’m a gadget freak!"

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Story 15Love That Waring Blender!

Although an advocate for learning a technique, Julia immediately adopted new labor and time-saving technologies that produced classical results. Read More


Story 16Julia's Kitchen Junk Drawer

Just like most of us, Julia Child had a kitchen junk drawer, but hers probably also like ours held things that made the drawer very special, very "Julia." Read More


Story 17"Isn’t this a great knife?"

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Story 18Fish Stories

From the very moment when Julia fell in love with French food, over a 1948 meal in Rouen featuring sole meunière, she developed an ongoing love for fish. That passion was reflected in much of the artwork seen in the kitchen. Read More





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