Cooking Made Friendly, Warm and Welcoming

What a great article in yesterday’s Food Section in the Times!

Thanksgiving at Julia’s[1] made me a more of a Julia Child’s fan than ever before.

As someone who’s loved cooking since age 4, I’ve long been a fan of cooking shows. And though the format and personalities have changed through the years, to me, there’s no better example of a person you’d like to welcome into your kitchen on a regular basis than Mrs. Child.


Because she was real.

Of course, I say this as a fan as opposed to someone who knew her personally, but given her openness to be imperfect.

Remember the infamous scene from the 1978 episode of the Tomorrow Show where she sliced open her finger, later mimicked on Saturday Night Live by Dan Aykroyd?

Or there was the time she burned a dish she was preparing live in the 80s[2].

No doubt she could prepare things perfectly; anyone who’s read Mastering the Art[3] can vouch for her attention to detail yet she seemed not to feel the need to do so, at least all the time.

And after reading more about her in the Times’ article, I like her even more.

Did you know she left her home phone number listed in the White Pages and that she regularly received calls from worried home-cooks on Thanksgiving Day to help guide them through kitchen mishaps and council them to the best of her ability?

Sheryl Julian, food editor for The Boston Globe, was quoted in the piece as having said that whatever the callers seemed to say, she’d calm their fears and even told one that ‘turkey wasn’t meant to be served hot’!

It was also interesting to learn that when cooking in her own home, she tended to have a rather relaxed regime, something I was easily able to identify with as I do the very same thing.
While I love preparing complex, lavish four course meals for guests during a themed-dinner party, I equally enjoy the decadent simplicity of enjoying a pan seared, grass-fed rib eye (rare) and some flash fried kale cooked in the fat leftover in the pan.

A focus on the flavor that each single ingredient brings to a dish, the fewer the better, is the perfect way to demonstrate one of the first things I like to teach clients who are new to the kitchen: simple can be delicious!

I’ve been writing this week about how little we are cooking at home these days, but interestingly, we’re still watching the cooking shows.

The Food Network alone gathers an average audience of more than 1 million viewers each night[4].

So we’re watching, but still not getting into our aprons?

Why is this?

I can only conjecture; is it because the faces of who’s doing the cooking are making it seem too difficult?

Is it made to appear so seamless that the second we do an improper mince or don’t know what the difference between sauté and stir fry are we feel like throwing in the towel and heading out for a meal instead?

I don’t know the answer, but I can make one suggestion, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to review some of the classics and watch Julia do her thing.

Her distinct voice, naturally humorous mannerisms and welcoming TV presence should help encourage even the most timid of new cooks into the kitchen!

And on the note of not being afraid to make mistakes, with Thanksgiving just one week away, what are your questions and concerns?

Reach out, tweet, and post on my Facebook page with your comments and we’ll make them into a blog post!



[1] Moskin, Julia. “Thanksgiving, the Julia Child Way.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015


[3] Beck, Simone, Louisette Bertholle, and Julia Child. Mastering the Art of French Cooking. New York: Knopf, 1961. Print

[4] “The Problem with Watching Too Many Cooking Shows.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2015