Film and TV

Our Favorite Julia Child Clips for Her 100th Birthday

For many of us, Julia Child was the first cook they ever saw on television. Mine was Graham Kerr, but Julia Child was a quick second after I became hooked on cooking shows. And boy, do they not make cooking shows like they used to. Julia Child was far less interested in being a celebrity or a personality than in teaching Americans how to make good, honest food the fine, French way. And for that, she is still beloved to this day.

The best part of watching Child on TV was how at ease she was with both the food and the camera, making cooking seem a far less daunting task to even a small child. She smiled and laughed and made fun of herself and appeared to be having the time of her life chopping off fish heads or pummeling meat into submission. How could anyone not be inspired to cook after watching Julia Child?

In honor of what would be her 100th birthday today, I've compiled a few clips of my favorite Julia Child cooking moments throughout the years. And remember: Julia Child was 37 years old when she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu, proving that it's never too late to find your passion and run with it.

In which she lines up chicken carcasses and gives them all names while pointing to them with a butcher's knife and dancing to her own theme music:

In which she cooks hamburger meat with a blowtorch and gets more laughs out of David Letterman's audience than he does:

In which she burns a plate of food...for science:

In which she races fellow chef Jacques Pépin to see who can beat egg whites faster...and uses a starter pistol to kick off the competition:

In which she charmingly admits to a weakness for McDonald's french fries:

In which she cheerfully demonstrates how to make boeuf bourguignon to the strains of some very Donna Reed-like music:

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Katharine Shilcutt