I honestly did not know the name until, and I am ashamed to say this, I saw the movie Julie and Julia. I have always liked cooking, even before I became the Sultana. And after seeing Julie and Julia, I was fascinated by the concept of French cuisine. Let’s face it, in this day and age of processed-healthy living we have gotten away from making things ourselves using *gasp* butter and cream.
I believe that butter is good for you when used in moderation. Certainly better than margarine, I can’t pronounce most of the ingredients on there…can you? This is a philosophy that is held by many actual professional chefs too. Butter is better, and cream makes it nice. Julia’s cooking contained copious amounts of butter and cream. It was rich, it was French, it was fabulous.
I guess I should start at the beginning-ish. Julia Child was born in August of 1912 and began her journey when she moved to France with her Diplomat husband and decided to train at the Cordon Bleu Academy Paris. She wrote her first book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” with the help of her lifelong friends, whom she met on her journey in Paris, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Julia went on to have a prestigious career with many more published cookbooks and several television cooking shows.
Because of her tenaciousness and work ethic, Julia changed the way that the world saw and cooked food. In a time when people ate little more than casseroles and tv dinners, almost exclusively, Julia brought accessible gourmet cooking right into the home.
The recipes in Mastering the Art are painstakingly detailed, and often have 20+ ingredients and more than 2 pages of instructions. They’re certainly not for the faint of heart, inexperienced or someone who is looking to “channel” a little Julia for the heck of it. Even pro chefs are daunted and exhausted by these recipes. Although one cannot argue with the absolute perfection of the results. Mastering the Art is an excellent resource, it was intended as more of a textbook. Have I mentioned how amazingly detailed it is in the descriptions?
What does this have to do with me? A person who spends her time in front of the grill, and really nowhere else? Well, I mentioned before that I always loved to cook. And I went to see the movie, shamefully not knowing much, if anything, about Julia Child. I was born in the ’80′s! The movie is a work of relative fiction yes, but it was inspiring to see both of those women come into their own as both professionals, one a blogger and one a chef that changed the world. Julia’s perseverance and joyful attitude prompted me to research her further when I got home. I learned about her, the recipes she was famous for and who she was. Julie, the blogger, was the beginning of the Sultana of Sizzle. I had always had it in my mind to start a blog about something, I just needed to find a passion. When I came to Napoleon®, that was where I found the passion. Cooking on the grill!
Julia Child taught an entire generation…or three… that it was okay to make mistakes and be messy, in life and the kitchen, as long as you learn from those mistakes and move forward!
Thank you Julia for inspiring me. Happy Birthday.
Check out this recipe for Coq au Vin. An homage to French Cuisine.
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