Particular Passions

Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times

Julia Child

Julia Child - whose love of French Culture brought the culinary arts to America.

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment

"I was planning to go into this cooking thing very seriously and take a long time studying and learning, but then I was suddenly thrown into it for keeps. After I had met Simca, I also met her friend and colleague, Louisette Bertholle, also a member of the gastronomy club, Le Cercle des Gourmettes. She and Simca were working on a cookbook for the United States, which had been going on for some time. One day the three of us had invited some American friends of mine for lunch. They wanted cooking lessons but said they didn’t want to go to the Cordon Bleu because they didn’t speak French, and so why didn’t we teach them? I thought, My heavens, I wasn’t nearly ready for that. But Simca, who is always ready for anything and was far more experienced than either Louisette or I, said, “Well, why not?” And we started our cooking school, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, just about the next day."

– Julia Child, from 'Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times', by Lynn Gilbert.

For a limited time, enjoy the a free chapter of Particular Passions on Facebook. The oral biography of Julia Child, whose love of French culture and cuisine brought a renewed appreciation for the culinary arts in America.

Julia Child - On Technique

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment

"Provided you have fine ingredients, I think that cooking is mostly a matter of technique. And it’s the technique that I am interested in trying to show, because if you master that you can do whatever you want. Although there is much decrying of classical cooking nowadays, and of Escoffier and so on and so forth, I do think most of the talk is from people who are not real students of cooking. The classical training teaches you what to do with food and how to do it. If you don’t have that background, you really have nothing solid to depend on. Of course, you have to develop your taste for food, but that comes from experience—from eating, discussing, studying, experimenting—from taking food seriously."

– Julia Child, from 'Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times', by Lynn Gilbert.

The oral biography of Julia Child, whose love of French culture and cuisine  brought a renewed appreciation for the culinary arts in America.

Available on Apple and Amazon.

Julia Child - On France and all things French.

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment

"I was hysterical about everything in France. I thought it was so wonderful, and it took me several years at least to calm down and not be so pro-French. After one taste of French food, after our very first meal in France, at Rouen, on the way from Le Havre to Paris in our old blue Buick that we had brought over with us on the boat—after that first unforgettable lunch, I was hooked. I’d never eaten like that before, I didn’t know such food existed. The wonderful attention paid to each detail of the meal was incredible to me. I’d never really drunk good wine before, and knew nothing at all about it. It was simply a whole new life experience."

– Julia Child, from 'Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times', by Lynn Gilbert.

The oral biography of Julia Child, whose love of French culture and cuisine  brought a renewed appreciation for the culinary arts in America.

Available on Apple and Amazon.

Julia Child - On Cooking

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment

"I WAS THIRTY-TWO WHEN I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. I think it kind of crawled up on me. My mother didn’t cook because I grew up in an era when most all middle-income people had maids. So she never learned, and I never really learned at all. But my grandmother was a great cook. She grew up in the farming country of Illinois—she made doughnuts and cakes and wonderful chicken, as I remember. We always had good food at her house, and at our house, too—plain good American food. But we never discussed it; it was expected to be good."

Julia Child – Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times, by Lynn Gilbert

The oral biography of Julia Child, whose love of French culture and cuisine brought a renewed appreciation for the culinary arts in America.

Available on Apple  and  Amazon.

Julia Child - On Cooking

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment

"After one taste of French food, after our very first meal in France, at Rouen, on the way from Le Havre to Paris in our old blue Buick that we had brought over with us on the boat — after that first unforgettable lunch, I was hooked. I’d never eaten like that before, I didn’t know such food existed. The wonderful attention paid to each detail of the meal was incredible to me. I’d never really drunk good wine before, and knew nothing at all about it. It was simply a whole new life experience. But you don’t spring into good cooking naked. You have to have some training. You have to learn how to eat. It’s like looking at a painting: If you don’t have any kind of background, you don’t really know what you’re looking at. The French have training from their families, they grow up with an appreciation of food, that it is an art, that it is worth considering carefully and looking at. I had to learn, and both cooking and taste developed simultaneously for me."

— Julia Child, in Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times.

The oral biography of Julia Child, whose love of French culture and cuisine brought a renewed appreciation for the culinary arts in America.

Available at Apple and Amazon.

Julia Child - On Cooking

Julia ChildLynn Gilbert2 Comments

"To be a good cook you have to have a love of the good, a love of hard work, and a love of creating. Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music. And cooking draws upon your every talent—science, mathematics, energy, history, experience—and the more experience you have the less likely are your experiments to end in drivel and disaster. The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen."

— Julia Child, in Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times. 

Enjoy the brief oral interview of Julia Child from the late 1970s, available on Apple and Amazon for 99 cents.

Julia Child - On Cooking

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment

"You don’t spring into good cooking naked. You have to have some training. You have to learn how to eat. It’s like looking at a painting: If you don’t have any kind of background, you don’t really know what you’re looking at. The French have training from their families, they grow up with an appreciation of food, that it is an art, that it is worth considering carefully and looking at. I had to learn, and both cooking and taste developed simultaneously for me."

- Julia Child, in Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times.

Enjoy Julia Child's oral interview from the late 1970s - one of 42 oral interviews in Particular Passions. This chapter is available with our compliments for a limited time, at this link.

Julia Child - On Cooking

Julia ChildLynn Gilbert1 Comment

"To be a good cook you have to have a love of the good, a love of hard work, and a love of creating. Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music. And cooking draws upon your every talent—science, mathematics, energy, history, experience—and the more experience you have the less likely are your experiments to end in drivel and disaster. The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen."

Julia Child, from 'Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped Our Times.'

The oral biography of Julia Child, whose love of French culture and cuisine brought a renewed appreciation for the culinary arts in America. Available for $0.99 at Amazon and Apple.

MARTHA STEWART, LIFESTYLE GURU

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment

“Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you.” — Aldous Huxley.

Martha Stewart grew up in ordinary circumstances, one of 6 children in a middle-class home. Early on, she did baby sitting, organized birthday parties for those children, modeled at 13, became a stockbroker, and then started catering.

Photo courtesy Scott Duncan
Photo courtesy Scott Duncan

Who could have conceived that from such unfocused beginnings, she would build a business empire that included multi business, merchandising through conglomerates that are household names, produce countless bestselling books, a monthly magazine, broadcasting and electronic commerce. Martha, the lifestyle guru, is a symbol of American success. –summarized from Wikipedia

Martha, showed us how to cook, but she also wanted us to know how to make everything in the home beautiful.  Clearly she was intelligent. It didn’t hurt that she was also beautiful. But it’s also her imagination, incredible hard work, courage, willingness to take risks, discipline, building on each success, and she kept going regardless of huge setbacks.

There isn’t a person who has achieved success that hasn’t followed a circuitous path. Success does not happen overnight. One must work like a demon, and never, ever quit. No guarantee that you’ll get there, but the odds are far greater.

Martha Stewart, like the pioneering women in “Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times,” kept making things happen. It is within all of us to a certain degree, but not everyone recognizes that gift. We need a “push,” a “pull,” a mentor, a role model, and the ability to stare down setbacks.

“Particular Passions” is filled with wonderful inspirational stories, of women like Stewart, who went on to do great things. They too, did not come from remarkable backgrounds and most of them had no idea what they wanted to do. These women were pioneers in the arts and sciences, medicine and law amongst many other disciplines. They opened doors for women that had never been open before.

One reviewer said of Particular Passions, “One of those rare, rare books that pick your life up, turn it around and point it in the right direction.” — K.T. Maclay

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Read a brief chapter on Julia Child, another lifestyle guru - but just in the kitchen, and learn about her passion. If you haven't found yours, I hope the chapter will inspire you.

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The chapter is only $.99. It's a bargain! You won't be disappointed.

COOKING WITH JULIA CHILD FOR CHANUKAH

Julia ChildLynn GilbertComment
Eldridge Street Synagogue in NYC
Eldridge Street Synagogue in NYC

"In all kitchens: cakes get stuck, mayonnaises break, chickens catch fire. But Child was unflappable in the face of culinary disaster... It was Julia’s basic course in good conduct: she stayed calm and learned to laugh about mistakes rather than getting angry or frustrated." — NY Times, August 15th, The Gifts She Gave

Read the chapter on Julia Child, in her own words, from Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped our Times — how she became unflappable. When you go into the kitchen for the holidays to prepare Potato Latkes, and other special dishes, you will be inspired to be unflappable too.. hopefully!

"Every woman owes it to herself to look up Particular Passions — borrow the volume from your public library. Or, better still, buy it and put it with your favorite novel or poetry collection to sustain you. Every story in the book is an inspiration. This book is a joy and a tonic." — Pioneer Press and Dispatch

Enjoy this chapter on your favorite electronic device for 99cents -- Amazon,  Apple.

COOKING WITH JULIA CHILD FOR CHANUKA