Monday, October 02, 2006

Child's My Life in France: Bon Appétit

86. My Life In France, Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme. Biography, 10-1, pp. 302

Until reading this book most of what I knew about Julia Child was limited to Dan Aykroyd’s classic Saturday Night Live portrayal of the PBS’ chef and author. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the photographs in this biography is of Child and her husband, Paul, in the tub together, soap bubbles artfully arranged. It is, to coin a phrase, a paradigm shift. The photo, one of many in the book, is a Valentine that the Childs sent annually to friends and family.

In an enchanting 302 pages, My Life in France explains how Child developed her passion for French cooking, wrote THE American cookbook on French cooking, became a TV star via her PBS-based cooking show and, in the process, transformed the landscape of American cookery and became an American icon whose TV kitchen is now faithfully exhibited in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.

Child’s prose (and that of her grandnephew, Alex Prud’homme) is as delightfully digestible as her cooking. The photographs, most taken by her husband, Paul, serve to illuminate the text, and add greatly to the book and the reading experience.

What can I say but . . . Bon Appétit.

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