When Julia Child arrived in Paris in 1948, a six-foot-two inch, thirty-six year old, rather loud and unserious Californian, she spoke barely a few words of French and didn't know the first thing about cooking. 'What's a shallot?' she asked her husband Paul, as they waited for their sole meuniere during their very first lunch in France, which she was to describe later as 'the most exciting meal of my life.'
As she fell in love with French culture, buying food at local markets, sampling the local bistros and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life began to change forever. She became the English speaking world's authority on French food.
Publisher: Duckworth Overlook
Julia is a fascinating character, as is her husband Paul. They were based in Paris as Paul worked for the US government.
Julia decided to take classes at the Cordon Bleu school of cookery after falling in love with French cuisine. And there her passion began; she went on to write two definitive French cookery books with her friend Simca and she was actually one of the first TV celebrity chefs. Her name is now synonymous with French food and her legacy is huge.
If you are not too interested in food and cooking then this may not be the book for you. However it is also about so much more; love, friendship, loyalty, travel, bureaucracy, politics and passion. Julia Child wanted to bring French cooking to the masses which is no easy feat. I greatly admired the dedication, time and sheer hard work she put into all she did, all whilst having a great deal of fun along the way.
This is not the best book to read if you are hungry or on a diet (I read it whilst on a cruise so was literally surrounded by food) there are beautiful descriptions of French cuisine on every page. I really love cooking and this book has inspired me to challenge myself a little more in the kitchen!
My Life in France is the best autobiography I have ever read, it is a charmingly beautiful book.