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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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WORK

LATEST NEWS

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August 16th, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News|0 Comments

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Breaking: Danny Meyer wins 2017 Julia Child Award!

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July 18th, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News|0 Comments

Thanks to Bobby Flay and Geof Drummond for a great Food Lab weekend at Stony Brook Southampton

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June 12th, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News|0 Comments

Santa Barbara News-Press profile of Alex

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April 17th, 2017|Categories: Appearances, Food, Julia Child, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

Ebook sales continue to fall as younger generations drive appetite for print

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April 13th, 2017|Categories: Books, Future, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

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