Listen to the Interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross:
In an interview from the 1980s, Julia Child recalls being hooked on French cooking from the very first bite. She made it her passion her life, spending her career guiding American amateurs through the fabled intricacies of French cooking.
Originally from Pasadena, Calif., Child was in her 30s when she arrived in Paris with her husband, a U.S. diplomat. After that first magical experience with French cuisine, she signed up for a course at the fabled Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris.
Eventually, it was Child herself who was teaching classes, along with her future collaborators on Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. That landmark, two-volume book appeared in 1958.
Child would go on to host eight television cooking series, including the Emmy Award-winning The French Chef, which appeared on over 100 public television stations in the U.S. She died in 2004 at the age of 91.