Julia Child will change food TV again

Articles
August 07, 2009

Julia Child will change food TV again

The theatrical release of Julie & Julia opens today, and we plan to be among the first in line to buy tickets, view the film, and celebrate the life, charm and career of the famed chef Julia Child.

The theatrical release of Julie & Julia opens today, and we plan to be among the first in line to buy tickets, view the film, and celebrate the life, charm and career of the famed chef Julia Child.

There is no doubt that the era of celebrity chef is over. Cute and cleavage is about to be replaced by substance. The reason we have cooking shows is all about Julia, James and Jacques - those masters who put food first (and themselves second!).

Expect a huge change - where food shows are about...food. What a concept.

The fact that Meryl Streep would take a role portraying Julia says it all.

This one-of-a-kind impresario in the kitchen stood a towering 6’3”. To this day, her memory, her elegantly simple manner and her food-first approach stand above any of today’s celebrity-first chefs, in our opinion. She was a pioneer in every sense of the word, and she made cooking far more approachable for America’s households.

Read this from the introduction of her best-seller Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she wrote with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle: “This is a book for the servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules, children’s meals, the parent-chauffeur-den mother syndrome or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat.”

How refreshingly straightforward and uncomplicated is that? Her love of food and innate understanding of her consuming public was evident on the air in her TV series as well, as she cooked naturally, with mistakes and humor as part of her personal recipe. Who couldn’t identify with such an embracing personality?

By contrast, food programming today includes competitions, dramatic conflict, intimidating personalities, lots of glitz, sexy camera angles, and high energy. The food is part of the presentation, but it doesn’t always come across as the star element—which we believe it should be.

This movie exposes the delights of Julia to a new generation of people who want to do more with food in their homes and their lives, and we predict it will change the game for televised food programs. By this winter, we will be watching a new breed of on-air personalities that are more substantive, more explanatory, and who put food first...before their own celebrity.