August 15th has become an unofficial holiday for the food-obsessed, as it marks the birth of Julia Child, patron saint of cooks everywhere. With her TV show, Julia inspired us to return to the kitchen, be adventurous with food, and have fun with it all. In honor of her birthday, we asked some of the staff at D’Artagnan how Julia impacted their lives. Read on and please share your own Julia memories with us.
Julia as Part of the Family
“Cooking was a huge part of my childhood, and my mother idolized Julia. We watched her on PBS together a lot. She always felt like the cool family member that had the need to make sure you were well fed.”
-Bryan Glynn, Creative Services Manager
Meeting Julia in the Kitchen
“I was a young cook – maybe 19 years old – and my first job was Spiaggia in Chicago. One night we assisted with a special dinner and the guest of honor was Julia Child. She swept into the kitchen – so imposing that she seemed 8 feet tall – to show us how to make her lobster bisque. She was a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, for sure. In that signature trilling voice, she declared that the secret to lobster bisque was good brandy. And of course, the cook needed to test the quality, so she took a swig of brandy, approved of it, and then poured it into the pot. She was simply wonderful!”
– Joelle Moles, VP Operations
Early Cooking Inspiration
“As an only child and typical 1980s latch-key kid, I started cooking my own meals around age 7. Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet were my babysitters. I loved how Julia made cooking look so fun and easy. Even if I was making boxed macaroni & cheese, I’d emulate Julia by standing tall on a milk crate, setting up my little mise en place and narrating the whole scene in her voice. Learning some of the fundamentals at a young age set me up for a strong foundation when I got a little older and really learned how to cook. While developing and testing recipes for D’Artagnan, I often look to her classic recipes as a reference point and sometimes I even catch myself narrating, although now it’s in my own voice.”
– Alisha Hidalgo, eCommerce Merchandising & Recipes Manager
Ariane Remembers Julia
“I met Julia while her influence was at its height. She could not participate in a cooking seminar, enter a restaurant, or even cross the street without creating a mob scene. So I learned quickly that once we entered a public place, whether intimate or not, there would be no more one-on-one conversation.
At the time, 35 years ago (when D’Artagnan started), she was actively working to organize the gastronomes of the country, and constantly invited us to participate in her events and gatherings. When we were together at those gatherings, she would take me under her wing, like a second mother this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
At every food show where she knew we were participating, she would come and get me at D’Artagnan’s booth. We would then walk the aisles together, creating an instant mob scene wherever we decided to stop and taste the goods.”
– Ariane Daguin, Founder and Owner
All About the Butter
“My passion for food and cooking began as a young boy watching PBS cooking shows with my father. Many weekend afternoons were spent deciphering the “mysteries” of classical French cuisine with the help of Julia Child. Things like boeuf bourguignon, hollandaise, and soufflé – not to mention the power of using copious amounts of butter and cream – were made simple by this tall woman with the sing-songy voice. Other cooking shows would soon follow – Graham Kerr, Martin Yan, and, of course, Emeril Lagasse – but first, always, there was Julia.”
– Joe D’Angelo, Category Manager
Chefs, Champagne, & Julia
“Julia Child spoke at the commencement ceremony the semester before I started at the Culinary Institute of America. I was disappointed that I had missed her. But I did have the pleasure of meeting Julia Child in the summer of 2001. It was at a James Beard event called Chefs and Champagne held at Wolffer Estate Vineyards. I was 2 years into my now 20-year career at D’Artagnan. I was very excited to get the opportunity to participate in this prestigious event honoring her. I was fortunate to get to speak with her and I’ll never forget her voice and what she said when I introduced myself and told her that I worked for D’Artagnan… She said, “I ate your organic chicken last night and it was one of the best I’ve had.” I told her that I was so happy to hear that, and told her that her roasted chicken recipe (w/lemon, garlic, and herbs) was the reason I fell in love with cooking. It was a beautiful summer day in the Hamptons with great chefs, great food and the culinary legend, Julia Child.”
-Kevin O’Donnell, D’Artagnan Sales Director
Read an excerpt from In Julia’s Kitchen: Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child by Pamela Heyne, and enjoy many detailed photos of her famous Cambridge kitchen. Julia loved her cooking tools, as you will see.
Learn more about Julia and her legacy at the Julia Child Foundation.
Please share your memories and stories of how Julia influenced you – right here in the comments or on social media.
Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.
Are you a business looking to serve or sell D’Artagnan? We invite both chefs and food retailers to reach out and become D’Artagnan customers.