She was, is, and always will be America’s culinary queen.
Now, nearly eight years after her death, Julia Child is once again enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the lead-up to the 100th anniversary of her birth on Aug. 15.
New books have been released, old ones re-released, her television shows are debuting on DVD, and the Internet is filled with hundreds of ways for everyone to get in on the celebration.
Her longtime publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, is leading the party with “JC100: A 100-Day Celebration of Julia Child,” which began in May and will continue until her birthday.
Knopf has compiled a list of the top 100 Child recipes, selected by a crew of culinary glitterati that included her longtime editor Judith Jones, chefs Thomas Keller, Jacques Pepin and Ann Willan, and Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine.
The recipes include her classic French bread, boeuf bourguignon and duck pate, and is being released one recipe per day until Aug. 15. You can follow the JC100 and watch the recipe release on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Other JC100 events include bookstores across the country featuring her books and hosting readings and tributes, 100 food bloggers making her recipes and writing about them, and 100 restaurants across the country celebrating Julia Child Restaurant Week from Aug. 7 to 15. (39 Rue de Jean in Charleston is listed as one of the participating restaurants.)
A slate of books about Child will be released or re-released to coincide with the birthday, including two new children’s books: “Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child” by Jessie Hartland ($17.99, hardcover, Random House); and “Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat” by Susanna Reich ($16.95, hardcover, Abrams Books for Young Readers), which tells a charming tale of Child’s Paris cat, and how she tries to cook a meal the cat will enjoy more than a mouse.
For adults, “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child,” a new biography by Bob Spitz ($29.95, hardcover, Knopf), is set for release on Aug. 7.
Also out is a new edition of 1999’s “Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child” by Noel Riley Fitch ($18.95 softcover, Anchor).
If you want to see how it all began, PBS is set to release the DVD “The French Chef: Julia Child’s French Classics” ($19.99), which features six episodes from Child’s original 1960s black-and-white television show.
Child’s series debuted in 1963, and introduced American home cooks to French cuisine. Episodes on the 180-minute DVD include her preparing French onion soup, coq au vin, quiche lorraine, chocolate mousse, French crepes and French apple tart.
It’s a veritable buffet of ways to celebrate the 100th birthday of this American icon.
As Julia herself would have said, “Bon Appetit!”