A portrait of the American chef Julia Child (1912 - 2004) shows her standing with a cut of meat in her kitchen, late 20th century. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
The Wartime Cuisine That Made Julia Child Fall In Love With Cooking
By Garth Clingingsmith
Julia Child's impact on American and French cuisine is unparalleled, with her approachability, warmth, charm, and humility bringing the perceived uppity French cuisine into everyday homes. It was her French cooking that made her famous, but the star of “The French Chef” fell in love with food before her time in France.
During World War II, Child served in various posts throughout Asia, including Kunming, China, where she met her future husband, Paul Child, and also fell in love with Chinese cuisine. She told the Wall Street Journal, "The Chinese food was wonderful, and we ate out as often as we could. That is when I became interested in food. I just loved Chinese food."
Her love of Chinese food was so deep that she didn't dare disrespect it by attempting to cook any Chinese cuisine. A 1974 New Yorker profile said Child understood it takes an entire lifetime to master all the cuisines of France, so she stayed in her lane of French cooking and left Chinese food for dining out.