GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / BOOK MY PLACE – During a long haul flight to San Francisco, the lady on the seat in front of me avidly read this book all through the night. As we disembarked, she handed it back to me saying how much she had enjoyed it and how many memories of the USA’s awakening to the pleasures of good cooking it had evoked.
I believe Julia Child is a familiar name to all Americans. This is her memoir of how, married to Paul Child, she arrived in France with not the slightest idea about cooking and barely a word of French. She recalls her first taste of a top chef’s food (and the memory reappears when, many years later, she leaves La Pitchoune, her beloved home in France, for the last time).
We follow her as she learns to buy in French markets, takes Cordon Bleu lessons, has her early disasters, copes with the eccentric series of maids and becomes the well-known star of her television show The French Chef.
Some of the dishes she describes are mouth-watering and her personality shines out of every page. My Life in France was written with her husband, Paul Child’s grandnephew, Alex Prud’homme who, in a series of interviews, teased these memories out of Julia Child.