Julia Child didn't start cooking until she was 39, but no other chef influenced late-20th-century American cooking more than she did. Forty-five years after the debut of her groundbreaking PBS show, The French Chef, this panel will discuss the profound effects of her books, television shows, and entertaining and accessible persona on our cuisine and culture.
Judith Jones was Julia Child's editor at Knopf and author of The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food.
Molly O'Neill is the food columnist for the New York Times Sunday Magazine and a reporter for the "Style" section of the New York Times.
She grew up in Columbus, Ohio as the oldest child, and only daughter, of five children. For ten years she worked as a chef and studied cooking at La Verenne in Paris.
Twelve years ago she began writing for a living, first as a columnist at Boston Magazine, then at Food and Wine Magazine. In 1984, she became the restaurant critic for New York Newsday and moved to the New York Times in 1989.
She has been nominated for Pulitzer Prize two times. Her first book, The New York Cookbook, won both the Julia Child/IACP and James Beard Awards.
Joan Reardon is the author of M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table.
Laura Shapiro is the author of the biography of Julia Child.
Andrew F. Smith
Andrew Smith is a writer and lecturer on food and culinary history. He serves as the general editor for the University of Illinois Press Food Series, and is past Chair of The Culinary Trust, the philanthropic partner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
He also teaches Culinary History at the New School in Manhattan.
Joan Reardon contrasts a 1950s Vogue recipe for a French supper -- which called for canned oysters, Jell-o concentrate, and frozen strawberries -- to Julia Child's fresh take on authentic French cuisine.
Reardon states that Child revolutionized the world of American cooking by incorporating fresh ingredients and complex technique, which produces as delicious a dish today as it did fifty years ago.
Judith Jones, author, editor, and an early champion of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", reflects on what it was that endeared Child to the American public. She discusses Child's first television appearance, and argues that her personality and attitude towards food "lifted that puritan repression" that had surrounded cooking.