Child's Play in the Kitchen

In the Paley Center Collection

In February 1962, a few months after the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child appeared on a local interview program on WGBH in Boston. On the show she made an omelet, and viewer response was so positive that WGBH produced three pilots with Julia later that year. The public television series The French Chef premiered on February 11, 1963, and ran for ten years; it was followed by several other series. Julia became public television’s first superstar, winning three Emmys and countless other awards. The Paley Center for Media has fifty-two programs featuring Ms. Child in its permanent collection. 

Child's Play in the Kitchen CONTINUES...

"Our Dear Little Old Friend—The Chicken"
When Julia Child's first series, The French Chef, began airing in 1963, there was "no consideration given to my appearance, because they didn't have any money," she later recalled. "In the beginning, I didn't even have a hairdo." What she did have was plenty of moxie, as you'll see from this very early installment (Program #14) of the series.

A Clattering of Pans... and Flames Galore
In this clip from a 1971 installment of The French Chef, Julia demonstrates how things in cooking are related by pointing up the similarities of two of her favorite dishes, coq au vin and chicken fricassée.

Morsels of Wisdom from Miss Julia
In 2000 Julia Child was interviewed by Steve Bell at the Paley Center (then The Museum of Television & Radio ) in Los Angeles. In these excerpts from the conversation, she talks about American eating habits in the late 1940s; describes a rather nasty letter she received after demonstrating how to bake a chocolate cake; and offers some wisdom on cookbooks ("Your book is only as good as your worst recipe!").

A Woman of Intrigue
When World War II broke out, Julia Carolyn McWilliams signed up with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA. She was shipped out to India on a troop ship and stationed in Ceylon—and almost immediately met her future husband, Paul Child, a high-ranking OSS cartographer. What few people knew until the recent release of newly declassified files was that during the war Julia was a spy for the U.S. government. The news of Julia's "other life" was made public on August 14, 2008. The following clip is from KCAL in Los Angeles.


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