Listen to Alex talk about ‘France is a feast’ on NPR’s Morning Edition

THE STORY

A book of intimate, evocative photographs taken by Paul Child, France is a Feast documents how he and his wife Julia explored France, its people, and la cuisine Francaise between 1948-54. Living in Paris and Marseille — where he worked at a cultural attaché – inspired Julia’s seminal cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), and her career as a celebrity author and TV chef. Julia and I wrote about this in her memoir, My Life in France (2006). This new book is a visual extension of that story, told from Paul’s perspective – and that is quite a tale. “If variety is the spice of life,” he said, “then I have led a curry of a life.”

Though he worked as a diplomat, Paul devoted much of his free time to photography. His work ranged from intimate snapshots of Julia to “decisive moment” street documentary in the manner of Cartier-Bresson, cityscapes a la Brassai, and broad landscapes and carefully arranged compositions in the spirit of Edward Weston. Not surprisingly, Julia was one of Paul’s favorite subjects: he captured her at work and at play a decade before she gained fame as “The French Chef.”

France is a Feast is illustrated with 225 of Paul Child’s black and white images, most of which have not been widely seen before.

Read More

Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and My Life in France coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America’s first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her “French chef” persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

Read More

Julia ChildJulia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and My Life in France coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America’s first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her “French chef” persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

Read More

PRAISE

Lively, infectious…. [The] elegant but unfussy prose pulls the reader into her stories.
Chicago Sun-Times
Captivating…. [Child’s] marvelously distinctive voice is present on every page.
San Francisco Chronicle
Delightful and ebulliently written…. [Child’s] joy just about jumps off the book’s pages.
Christian Science Monitor

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ale Prud'homme

Alex Prud’homme

I am a native of New York City, with a BA in history from Middlebury College (and a minor in oceanography). I live in Brooklyn, NY, with my family.

I became a writer the old-fashioned way. In 1985, I embarked on a three month trip to India and Nepal; when I returned to the US, I intended to apply to architecture school, or maybe law school. Only, I didn’t return. My three-month trip extended into a two year journey that took me around the world. Working as a fisherman in Australia, an English teacher and actor in Japan, and as a janitor in Paris, I wrote in journals as I went. It was this experience of talking to a wide range of people and recording my observations on a daily basis that led me to pursue a writing career once I returned to the States.

Read More

Alex Prud’homme

Ale Prud'homme

Photo © Elena Seibert

I am a native of New York City, with a BA in history from Middlebury College (and a minor in oceanography). I live in Brooklyn, NY, with my family.

I became a writer the old-fashioned way.  In 1985, I embarked on a three month trip to India and Nepal; when I returned to the US, I intended to apply to architecture school, or maybe law school.  Only, I didn’t return.  My three-month trip extended into a two year journey that took me around the world.

Read More

WORK

LATEST NEWS

‘France Is a Feast’: Photo Exhibit Celebrates Julia Child — Associated Press

Katie Pratt and I teamed with the Napa Valley Museum to launch a show of Paul Child's photos, art, and artifacts -- from  photos of Julia and Paris, to his drawings, paintings, and stained glass, [...]

November 21st, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News, Paul Child, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

My essay: Julia’s Influence of Today’s Food TV

Here is an excerpt of my essay for Penguin Random House's "Signature" series -- and if you are hungry, follow the link below for Julia's recipe for Coq au Vin ... Julia Child’s Second Act: [...]

November 10th, 2017|Categories: Books, Food, Julia Child, News|0 Comments

Multimedia exhibit of Paul Child’s work at Napa Valley Museum

'France is a Feast' opens at Napa Valley Museum Lisa Adams Walter Nov 8, 2017 Updated Nov 8, 2017 Julia Child, before she became the famous "French Chef" was photographed by her husband Paul, when [...]

November 10th, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News, Paul Child, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

Join me this Sunday in Stonington, CT, for THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA

Friends - if you are in the vicinity of Watch Hill, RI, or Stonington, CT, I'll be presenting "THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA: Julia child's Second Act" on Sun, 5-6 PM. Hope to see you! [...]

October 4th, 2017|Categories: Appearances, Food, Julia Child, News|0 Comments

Publishers Weekly enjoyed “thoroughly delicious” FRANCE IS A FEAST!

(Re-posting, as this failed to load earlier)   The book arrives in stores 10/24, but feel free to pre-order as many copies as you want at any time - makes a lovely gift!   France [...]

September 18th, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News, Paul Child, Reviews|0 Comments

Tres Bien: Booklist likes FIAF, too!

We're having a good day, reviewer-wise, over here at "France is a Feast" HQ. Hot on the heels of PW, Booklist has given us a thumb's up. Merci!   France Is a Feast: The Photographic [...]

September 18th, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News, Paul Child, Reviews|0 Comments

UPCOMING EVENTS

There are no upcoming events at this time.