Although there are hundreds of famous people who were born in California, I think it is appropriate to name Julia Child, who was born in Pasadena, California, since the movie Julie & Julia was just released on August 7, 2009. Julia Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was a famous American chef, author and television host for a cooking show. Julia Child excelled in French cuisine and masterfully introduced her cooking knowledge into American homes through many of her famous cookbooks such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and television shows such as The French Chef. Julia Child is known for being one of the first cooking television show personalities and celebrity chefs.
Julia Child did not actually begin her cooking career until after World War II, when she was in her 30’s. She repeatedly recalled her first meal in Rouen, France as a culinary revelation and “an opening up of the soul and spirit.” After that, she attended the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and later studied privately with master chefs such as Max Bugnard. She began to join cooking clubs, and in 1951, she and some of her cooking friends, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholles who she met in a cooking club, began to teach cooking to American women in the Child’s Paris kitchen. Their unofficial cooking school was called L’Ecole des Trois Goumandes (The School of the Three Happy Eaters). From the 1960’s on, Child began to advance in her cooking career, writing many cookbooks, translating French cookbooks into English, and hosting television cooking shows.