Some celebrity relationships you just can't help but wonder about. One of those for us is the marriage of Julia Child and her husband, Paul Cushing Child. How did the author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her spouse meet, and what was their relationship like?
Meet Julia Child
Celebrity chef Julia Child was a teacher, an author, and a television personality. She was known for popularizing French cuisine in America and her cooking show, The French Chef. It was the first cooking show on PBS and she was the first woman inducted into The Culinary Institute of America's Hall of Fame.
Before all of that, Julia was born Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, California, and was quite athletic as a child. She attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, eventually graduating with a major in history.
After living in New York City as a copywriter for a bit, Julia joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) for the Second World War after she found out that she was too tall to enlist in the Women's Army Corps (WACs) or in the U.S. Navy's WAVES, according to Wikipedia. After her time at the state department during World War II, she became a researcher. While in Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), she met husband Paul.
Paul Cushing Child
Paul Child was born in Montclair, New Jersey, and after taking a course at Columbia College he became a teacher in France, Italy, and the United States. He also joined the OSS, and that's how he and the future famous chef Julia McWilliams met.
The two were married in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Washington, D.C. Paul loved world cuisine and fine food, and Julia Child's husband basically introduced her to the world of cooking she became so famous for.
A few years after they were married, Julia went to the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. She then joined the women's cooking club Le Cercle des Gourmettes and met Simone Beck, who was writing a cookbook on French cuisine for Americans with her friend Louisette Bertholle. French food became the norm in Julia's kitchen during her time in both Paris and Marseille.
Eventually, the Childs moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, outside of Boston. Julia and her friends continued to explore cooking together, and the Childs even built a home near the Provence town of Plascassier on property that belonged to Beck and her husband, Jean Fischbacher. Together, Beck, Bertholle, and Child wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Julia also starred in more TV shows such as Julia Child & Company, Julia Child & More Company, and Dinner at Julia's, and her career took off, spawning numerous television shows. She also made a book and instructional video series called The Way To Cook. Julia founded the American Institute of Wine & Food in 1981 with vintners Robert Mondavi and Richard Graff.
Her husband designed the kitchen she used in many of her shows, and it's now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Julia was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 and received honorary doctorates from Harvard University, Johnson & Wales University, Smith College, Brown University, and lots of other educational institutions thanks to her long career as an author, media personality, and cook.
Sadly, Paul died in 1994 after suffering several strokes. Julia did not pass away until 2004, of kidney failure in California. Before that, the couple shared a long and interesting life and marriage with one another.
After her passing, Julia's last book, the autobiographical My Life in France, was published posthumously in 2006 and written with her grandnephew, Alex Prud'homme. There have also been other books written and TV skits done about her. Meryl Streep also portrayed Julia in the 2009 feature film Julie & Julia.
It all started because of a couple who loved food!