My Hero Monday is an original weekly feature from the feminist blog A Girl’s Voice. In the words of its creator, Chloe, “It celebrates female heroes in our society, and promotes learning about new heroes.” My Hero Monday posts feature women both real and fictional, living and deceased.
Chloe recently decided to make MHM a monthly link-up as well… and as I love both link-ups and feminism, I eagerly signed up to participate! The full link-up schedule can be found at the end of this post – and if you’d like to join next month (I strongly encourage that you do) you can find the rules and other information here.
Date of birth: August 15, 1912
Date of death: August 13, 2004
School(s): Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, France
Profession: Chef, author, television personality
When did I first hear about her?
I was twelve or thirteen when we watched the movie Julie & Julia, which is based on a book of the same name written by Julie Powell. In both stories, Julie blogs about her efforts to cook each of the five-hundred-plus recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
What makes her one of my heroes?
Yeah, it’s cool that Julie cooked all those recipes, but you know what’s even more amazing? That Julia wrote all those recipes. That’s a lot of work! Before she even began writing she had to test multiple versions of each recipe to see which one worked best, then she had to write it out as clearly as possible with no confusing bits, and then she had to decide how to organize the whole book! (And she had to keep from squabbling with her co-writers. For the ten years it took them to write the books. Ah, the joys of collaboration.)
Let me tell you some more about Julia Child: She only started cooking because she was bored. When she moved to Paris along with her husband, she signed up for classes at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school because it gave her something to do. And she loved it. That single decision led to her writing a two-volume guide to French cuisine, and later she had her own cooking show.
Julia Child introduced millions of Americans to different ways of thinking about food at a time when most of them were eating the same old meat-and-potatoes fare – and she did this in a traditionally male-dominated field of work. Most French chefs at the time were men. But she didn’t let that fact discourage her from pursuing something she loved.
It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that when I was about twelve or thirteen I wanted to be a chef. Later on, I changed my mind – I want to write for a living now – but a few years ago I wanted to be just like her. She’s still one of my most important role models, and the boxed set edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking resides on my shelf of favorite books.
P.S. Before I move on to the section about my favorite Julia Child quotes… here’s a video where she shows you how to make an omelette! Because… why not? Because breakfast is good.
“I was thirty-two when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
“I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”
“Life itself is the proper binge.”
What’s your opinion of Julia Child? And what did you think about my first My Hero Monday post? I’d love to know!
Be sure to check out the other My Hero Monday link-up posts!
September 8: Isa @ A Doodler’s Freedom
September 15: nevillegirl @ Musings From Neville’s Navel
September 22: Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination
September 29: Wrap-up by Chloe @ A Girl’s Voice