A biography of Julia Child from the award-winning author of "Perfection Salad" One of the most beloved figures in 20th century American culture was Julia Child, the bouyant ?French Chef? who taught millions of Americans to cook with confidence and eat with pleasure. With an irrepressible sense of humor and a passion for good food, Child ushered in the nation's culinary renaissance and became its chief icon. Unlike the great cooking teachers who preceded her, she won her audience through the revolutionary medium of television. Millions watched as she spun threads of caramel, befriended a giant monkfish, wielded live lobsters, flipped omelets and unmolded spectacular desserts. Her occasional disasters, and brilliant recoveries, were legendary. Yet every step of the way she was teaching carefully crafted lessons about ingredients, culinary technique, and why good home cooking still matters. Award-winning food writer Laura Shapiro describes Child's unlikely career path, from California party girl to cool-headed chief clerk in a World War II spy station to bumbling amateur cook and finally to the classes at the Cordon Bleu in Paris that changed her life. Her marriage to Paul Child was at the center of all her work. Unlike much of what has been written about Child, Shapiro portrays a woman who was quintessentially American, and whose open-hearted approach to the kitchen was a lesson in how to live.
Perfection Salad presents an entertaining and erudite social history of women and cooking at the turn of the twentieth century. With sly humor and lucid insight, Laura Shapiro uncovers our ancestors widespread obsession with food, and in doing so, tells us why we think as we do about food today. This edition includes a new Introduction by Michael Stern, who, with Jane Stern, is the author of Gourmet magazine's popular column Roadfood and the book Eat Your Way Across the U. S. A.
In this captivating blend of culinary history and popular culture, the award-winning author of Perfection Salad shows us what happened when the food industry elbowed its way into the kitchen after World War II, brandishing canned hamburgers, frozen baked beans, and instant piecrusts. Big Business waged an all-out campaign to win the allegiance of American housewives, but most women were suspicious of the new foods--and the make-believe cooking they entailed. With sharp insight and good humor, Laura Shapiro shows how the ensuing battle helped shape the way we eat today, and how the clash in the kitchen reverberated elsewhere in the house as women struggled with marriage, work, and domesticity. This unconventional history overturns our notions about the '50s and offers new thinking on some of its fascinating figures, including Poppy Cannon, Shirley Jackson, Julia Child, and Betty Friedan.
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