The latest Nora Ephron-directed flick, Julie & Julia, starring the always winning Meryl Streep and the cute-as-a-button Amy Adams, in the multiple true stories of Julia Child, the famous chef, and a secretary temp who turns her life around by blogging her way through Child’s 734 page Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In its first weekend, the Sony Pictures release took in over $20 million, coming in second in box office totals to the new GI Joe movie.
Though the film was not made in Massachusetts, nor were any of its stars from the New England area (that we know of), there is a distinct Boston connection within the subject matter. It seems that in the 1950s, Julia Child first moved to Cambridge, MA, with her husband, Paul Cushing Child, where the couple began testing French recipes, that Julia would later translate into practical, easy to follow forms. Later, these recipes were compiled into book form, where it was pitched to Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin, where it was rejected. When the book was finally published by Aflred K. Knopf in 1961, Child then became a regular columnist for the Boston Globe newspaper.
The following year, Child appeared on a book review program on the Boston channel WGBH, where she demonstrated how to cook an omelette. Her immensely successful show, “The French Chef” debuted shortly afterwards to rave reviews, and ran for ten years. Later in her career, Julia Child’s home kitchen in Cambridge was made into a fully operational television set, where many of her TV specials and regular shows were filmed. Take a tour past 103 Irving Street in Cambridge, and you can see the very place that Julia Child called home for over 40 years.