There are arguably two waves of cooking that unfolded in America during the 20th century: before Julia Child and after. Last August, right in time for what would have been Child's 100th birthday, historical biographer Bob Spitz -- of best-sellers The Beatles: The Biography and Dylan: A Biography -- released Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child, a comprehensive tome chronicling Child's life. Much like Child herself, the first half of the pages are filled with her family history, her childhood, her days spent boozing at Smith College, her time working in the United States Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of today's Central Intelligence Agency.
|Dearie by Bob Spitz.|
Almost halfway through the book we find a 40-year-old Julia Child learning to cook for the first time in her life -- and soon perfecting cooking French cuisine, soon becoming an international phenomenon with the publishing of Mastering The Art of French Cooking. By age 51 she had ascended to television stardom and forever changed the medium and cooking forever with the debut of smash-hit TV show The French Chef.
Next week Spitz stops in St. Louis to discuss his book, on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (321 North Tenth Street; 314-436-3049) in downtown St. Louis.
Always curious to learn more about the fascinating life of Julia Child, Gut Check called up Bob Spitz for a chat about the chef, why she hated Italian food and how she's essentially the Beatles of modern American cooking.
Click through for the chance to enter to win a copy of Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child.
Update: Congrats to commenter nikolembrown, who logged the following winning comment: "Bifteck Saute Bercy (Pan-broiled steak with shallot and white wine sauce). Any recipe she has that combines wine and butter is ALWAYS amazing."More »