On Julia's 100th Birthday: 6 Food Blogging Lessons I Learned From Her


Julia Child
Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

5. Be generous, and inspire others.

In 1995, my husband Ted and I attended the graduation ceremony for ten formerly homeless men and women who completed a year-long food service training program at Pine Street Inn, a large Boston shelter that provides emergency housing, job training and health services for the homeless. A standing-room-only crowd of 250 family and friends, neighbors, supporters, and local chefs listened to Julia Child's five-minute commencement address. She shook hands with the graduates, speaking a few words to each of them, and then shared in the buffet of refreshments the students had prepared.

Julia didn't have to take the time to come to this event, but she did, lending dignity and gravitas to their graduation ceremony and celebrating their entry into the food service industry she loved. Had the graduation been at Harvard, she could not have been more gracious to the graduates and their families. In her lifetime, Julia mentored dozens of young chefs all across the country, with the same enthusiasm and encouragement she shared that day at a shelter for the homeless.

When I started blogging, I reached out to more experienced bloggers like Elise Bauer and Kalyn Denny for help and advice, and I'm forever grateful to them, and to many others, for sharing their expertise. Kristen Doyle created an adopt-a-blogger program that matched new food bloggers with mentors, and through that, I adopted three bloggers and helped them over a period of years. I try to answer questions whenever someone writes to me for blogging advice, and I hope I inspire other food bloggers to do their best, share what they know, link generously to others, and spread good blogging karma.

6. Be yourself, always.

Julia Child was, some said, too smart, too tall, too creative, too witty, too adventurous, and too independent of spirit. She was, also, always herself.

Cooks can find recipes anywhere, but Julia Child taught me that people come to The Perfect Pantry to get my take on a recipe, my ideas, my stories, my confessions, just as we all turn to Julia's cookbooks to get her point of view. If my recipes aren't the most complicated, or my photos don't look like the ones on the fancy photo sites, I'm okay with that, and I know that if you keep coming back, you enjoy my take on pantry ingredients and fun ways to cook with them.

As I say every year, because it's true, you are the most important ingredient in The Perfect Pantry. Thank you all for being here.

And thank you, Julia, for everything you've taught me about food blogging.

Editor's note: PBS Digital Studios released this incredible remix of Julia Child in honor of her 100th. Bring on the roasted potatoes! -- Julie

Illustrations created with Paper for iPad by Ted Chaloner (known to readers of The Perfect Pantry as my husband Ted).


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