P.S. Julia Child's Notes for Public Television
"I’m a teacher and I’ll stay with the educators."
Julia Child was one of television’s first major celebrity chef. It all started when, in the 1960s, Julia went on television to publicize her new cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. To make the production more lively, Julia and her co-author, Simone Beck, decided to do a cooking demonstration. They made a simple French omelette, and the audience loved it.
This led to Julia’s show, The French Chef, which aired from 1963 to 1973 on Boston’s public television station, WGBH. Unsurprisingly, Julia threw herself into the endeavor and planned each episode as meticulously as she had composed her cookbook.
But television was in its early days, and public television was just getting started. They had almost no budget and shot each episode in a single take. This meant that Julia’s mistakes were part of every episode. Of course, this made for wonderful television, as Julia taught us not only how to cook, but how to make the best of our inevitable kitchen mishaps. Check out this 2-minute clip of Julia trying to flip a potato:
So let’s explore the notes Julia took as she prepared to launch what would become a truly paradigm-changing television career.
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