Happy Birthday, Julia!


“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
– Julia Child

Yesterday my mom asked Mary, “What gave you the idea to start A Passionate Plate?” Mary told her it was her way to rekindle her passion for cooking, to sharpen her skills, eat better food, and to reconnect with something she loved. I feel so blessed that Mary has included me on this journey with her! I, too, had lost the passion and feel so fulfilled to have found it again.

Julia Child is one of my earliest culinary heroes and she epitomized passion. She was a pioneer I could identify with. She didn’t have the fancy hair, make-up and wardrobe of today’s food TV stars.  Her booming voice drew me to the television to witness her latest culinary masterpiece, and she did it in such an honest and direct (i.e. no apologies) fashion. And she did it with such a sense of humor! (Have you seen the collection of hilarious quotes we’ve been posting on Facebook this week?!)

Julia made such an impact on me that I was in total disbelief when I found myself standing next to her in the valet line at Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle on my 21st birthday.

“Did you ask her for an autograph?!” demands Mary every time I remind her of this story. I think it was out of respect for her, and everything she represented to me, that I simply chose to quietly observe her bigger-than-life presence that night.

So, of course, when I noticed that Julia’s 100th birthday would have been today, I insisted that Mary and I find a way to celebrate. A night out at Bastille included Steak Frittes, Roasted Chicken and Profiteroles with classic Julia videos playing on the television above the bar. Even the guys recounted their stories and memories of the much beloved Julia Child.  Happy Birthday, and thanks for the inspiration, Julia!

Mary found one more way to celebrate our hero:

In celebration of her 100th birthday, Julia Child Remixed by John D. Boswell, aka melodysheep, for PBS Digital Studios. Enjoy the video and please remember to support your local PBS station: http://www.pbs.org/donate.

What are your favorite Julia Child memories?  How will you celebrate her birthday?


  1. […] about our culinary hero, Julia Child, last week got us thinking about Seattle’s own local celebrity chef, Tom […]

  2. jackie fradkin says:

    Love the video of Julia. I love how she looks into the camera like she really is in my kitchen, in your kitchen, having the conversation only with us.
    I’ve gotta say I found it moving too.

  3. Jim says:

    Watched your Julia Childs’ video for the second time tonight. I was surprised that it made me cry! I grew up in the fifties and was aware of Julia Childs but never watched her seriously. I was probably put off by the accent. Today I would appreciate what a pioneer she was, not just to cooking, but to televsion. The Cooking Channel is one of our favorites today, and I bet Ms. Childs was one of the key inspirations. Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I could watch it over and over!!

    Jim Oswald
    PS – I have also enjoyed “Julie and Julia,” an exceptional movie; also the Saturday Night Live spoofs.

  4. Marilyn Gordon says:

    Sounds great. Will be looking for a picture!

  5. Marilyn Gordon says:

    I love the memory of Julia and I loved the movie. Now what great kind of cake is Marvin having for his birthday tomorrow? His brother always asked for apple pie. Cant imagine Marv or me doing that! It would have to be sweet and rich for us!!

    • MaryMiller says:

      The cake… it will be a surprise! Actually, I haven’t figured it out yet. I am going to try making Julia Child’s French Butter Cream Frosting recipe, though… Marv oughta go for that!

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