Happy 101st birthday to Julia Child, the chef, author, and television personality who brought the art of French cooking to America.
Julia’s Cambridge, Massachusetts kitchen was designed by her husband in 1961 and was the setting for three of her television shows. Her kitchen measured just 14’ x 20′ and featured some familiar elements. A colorful KitchenAid mixer, painted cabinets, and stainless sink have become features that we now consider essential to home cooking. Her kitchen was also very personalized and organized to her standards. The maple countertops were built two inches higher to suit her 6-foot, two-inch height.
Her actual kitchen is now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The exhibit features 1,200 artifacts, including everything in the drawers and cabinets, as well as the drawers, cabinets and appliances themselves.
We’ve learned a thing or two from Julia and her kitchen. While it screams function, it was designed as a working kitchen first and foremost. Everything has a place! Her husband Paul designed the now-famous pegboard storage for her numerous cooper pots so they were within reach. She even outlined the shape of the pot so she knew where they belonged.
Julia Child changed the way many Americans think about and prepare food and enjoy cooking. She said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
And if you feel like reliving the best of her television series, you can stream the episodes here. Or pop in Julie & Julia and cozy up on the couch as your peruse cookbooks for your favorite recipe.