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Julia Child is the kind of girl you want to drink champagne and make clafoutis with.

The famous culinary fairy Julia Child (1912 - 2004) was an American chef of French cuisine, author and co-author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, an American television host and an amazing woman who taught all of America how to cook in the 20th century. It was her character played by Meryl Streep in the film Julie & Julia: Cooking Happiness by Recipe.

Julia Child in Paris
Photography by paul child; © the schlesinger library, radcliffe institute, harvard university

I found the book France is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child. It contains a unique collection of photographs by Paul Child, Julia's husband, of the couple's life in France between 1948 and 1954. As well as personal photographs of everyday life, holidays and meetings with friends, these black and white images trace Julia's first steps towards fame in the culinary world.

Julia Child France is a feast book

Her husband adored Julia and took pictures of her all the time. He was unaware that in his shots he was capturing his wife's culinary development, from novice to established chef to the first star cook on American television.

This book shows us a different Julia: young, carefree, stylish and daring. We can look at Julia Child before she became a chef, dressed in aprons, strict blouses and shapeless skirts. Short shorts, open tops and cigarette in hand: this is a culinary douche you definitely haven't seen.

Young Julia Child

Julia Child culinary recipe

Julia Child and her husband

Some interesting facts from the biography.

Julia was born to a successful Californian landowner. In those days, she could enjoy a life of doing nothing. However, this way of life did not suit her very well

Her involvement in the culinary industry began at the age of 37!

During the war she joined the Office of Special Services, where she met her future husband, Paul Child, at the age of 34. The couple moved to France due to Paul's transfer as part of the Foreign Service. He became Chief of Visual Presentation at the U.S. Embassy and Julia became a diplomat's wife.

Paul was obsessed with photography, he always carried one to three cameras with him wherever the couple travelled.

Julia Child with her husband

An introduction to French cuisine was a moment of epiphany for Julia that gave direction to her career. Julia had previously worked as a copywriter, a columnist and, in wartime, as a researcher and head of the office secretariat.

Given that before her marriage Julia couldn't even cook a sandwich, she began to learn the basics of cookery for her husband.

Julia was determined to learn to cook for herself and to pass on the knowledge to American women. To do this, she went to study at the French school Cordon Bleu.

She passed her final exam at the culinary school from the second time.

Real photo of Julia Child

In 1951, Julia, together with Simone Beck and Louiselette Bertholle, opened a cookery school for American women in Paris, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes. It was located in the home kitchen of the Childs' Paris flat. Julia described this experience in both editions of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book she wrote with her colleagues at the school.

Paris photos

She wanted to be just a good wife, but later realised that wasn't enough for her. She went further, found her mission and, as a result, wrote a cookbook and became a TV star.

As a result, Julia was able to change the lifestyle of several generations of Americans by teaching them French cuisine.

As a result, Julia has received the Legion of Honour, three Amy Awards and several doctorates.


Cherry clafoutis recipe by Julia Child
Photo by @mamahahn


Butter - 20 g (for greasing the mould)

Milk 2.8% - 250 ml

Sugar - 120 g

Chicken eggs - 3 pcs.

Wheat flour - 150 g

Natural vanilla extract - 0.5 tsp. (can be replaced with vanilla sugar)

Salt - 1/3 tsp.

Cherries - 380 g

Icing sugar - for sprinkling

Step 1

Prepare the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a pie mould over 4-5cm deep with butter.

Step 2

Pour milk into a bowl, add 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Mix with a mixer at top speed or hand blender for a few minutes until smooth and frothy.

Allowing the dough to stand for 20-30 minutes will make the clafouti more tender.

Step 3

Pour half the batter into the mould.

Step 4

Spread the berries on the batter and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

You can use any seasonal berries or fruit for the filling: raspberries, cherries, cherries, strawberries, apricots, plums.

Step 5

Pour the rest of the batter on top and smooth it out.

Step 6

Bake the clafoutis for about 40-45 minutes, until the top is browned and a toothpick stuck in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Step 7

Take the clafoutis out of the oven and cool slightly in the mould. The pie is best served warm. Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.


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