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

Q&A with Forbes Travel Guide for the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend

Julia Child’s Grandnephew Remasters The Art Of French Cooking Is there a personal anecdote you could share from your time working on the memoir? Julia and I shared a sense of humor, a love of [...]

March 29th, 2017|Categories: Julia Child, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

As JC would say: Joyeuse journee de la femme (Happy Women’s Day)!

https://www.facebook.com/rosewaterbk/photos/a.440583927101.238867.15590882101/10154184325597102/?type=3&theater

March 8th, 2017|Categories: Julia Child, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

Join me in Santa Barbara, Apr 7-9, to benefit the Julia Child Foundation

  Santa Barbara's Food and Wine Weekend benefits Julia Child foundation Feb 27, 2017 Updated 20 hrs ago The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts and Bacara Resort & Spa host the fourth annual [...]

March 1st, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

Robb Report interview about my history of food at the White House

I have begun to research a book about the history of food at the White House -- from George Washington and his celebrated slave-chef Hercules to the foodie Obamas, and perhaps the taco-bowl munching Donald [...]

February 22nd, 2017|Categories: Books, Food, Julia Child, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

Who is celebrity chef Ted Allen’s mystery relative on “Twice Removed” podcast? Have a listen

Here's the second episode of TWICE REMOVED, a great, fun, informative new podcast, courtesy of Gimlet Media ... and if you listen to the end, you'll find out who Ted Allen is related to, and [...]

January 3rd, 2017|Categories: Food, Julia Child, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

Ottawa Overdrive says Julia’s second act was as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first

Merci Ottawa! They say: 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 [...]

January 3rd, 2017|Categories: Books, Food, Julia Child, News, The Ripple Blog|0 Comments

UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. Mystic, CT

    December 3 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  2. Wilton, CT

    December 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  3. Maplewood, NJ

    December 6 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm