Thursday, August 2, 2012

Honoring Julia Child's 100th With 'Celebrate Julia'

She changed the way Americans cook, eat and think about food.  Vermont Public Television will honor Julia Child, television's first superstar cook, on Wednesday, August 15, which would have been Child's 100th birthday.

Julia Child Bastes a Turkey WGBH
Julia Child photo courtesy of WGBH
VPT will broadcast a live, three-hour cooking special featuring dishes that showcase locally grown food as well as classic recipes and techniques taught by Child herself.

Airing from 7 to 10 p.m., "Celebrate Julia" will feature three vintage episodes of Child's pioneering public television series, "The French Chef," from the early 1960s.  In them, Child will prepare French onion soup, giving tips on how to quickly and safely slice onions, and how to improve and personalize a store-bought stock.  She will also make quiche Lorraine, illustrating the key tips to create "the perfect pastry."  Child will demonstrate how that same pastry can be used to make an apple tart finished with an apricot glaze.

In between the vintage TV shows, chef Michael Kloeti of Michael's on the Hill in Waterbury Center, Vt., will be guiding some enthusiastic amateurs in the VPT studio kitchen as they attempt to prepare dishes to complement Child's recipes using locally grown, seasonal ingredients.

Vermont resident Judith Jones will share stories from the days when she was Child's editor at Alfred A. Knopf and helped bring Child and her famous "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" to the attention of the world.  Culinary writer Bronwyn Jones Dunne, who grew up watching Jones (her stepmother) test Child's recipes, will share her own memories of that time and assist in the VPT kitchen.

VPT's "Celebrate Julia" will also air Saturday, August 18, at 12:30 p.m.  VPT will provide recipes and additional "Celebrate Julia" content on

In related festivities during August, on Saturday, August 18, the VPT Create channel will present a marathon of "Baking With Julia" and "Julia and Jacques" programs.

On the Web, public television culinary hosts, producers and guests will share video, memories, photographs, quotes and recipes on a special Julia Child page at will also have a complete Julia Child/The French Chef page including streaming episodes of "The French Chef," one-of-a-kind recipes and never-before-seen out-takes, film footage and on-set photos from an un-aired French Chef film shoot circa 1970.

Viewers are invited to share their memories of Julia Child on Twitter at #CookforJulia with fanpages also being built on Facebook. Be sure to follow our Celebrate Julia Childs Pinterest board as well!

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