—by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural
West Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/18/17 – James Beard (1903-1985) was an American food connoisseur of the first order. Dubbed the “Dean of American Cookery” by THE NEW YORK TIMES, Beard’s name remains synonymous with American food thanks to his James Beard Cooking School, the coveted James Beard Awards, and many highly influential television shows, cookbooks, articles, and restaurants.
Julia Child (1912-2004) is fondly remembered for introducing French traditions to American home cooks. The disaster-prone Child revolutionized the way America related to food through her antic hands-on approach to haute cuisine both on television and in print.
The colorful and creative lives of these American masters are celebrated in the all new documentary James Beard: America’s First Foodie and encore presentation of Julia! America’s Favorite Chef that aired on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on PBS. The films were directed by Elizabeth Federici and Marilyn Mellowes, who serve up delicious tidbits from the daring lives of their subjects.
Intriguing parallels between these beloved master chefs abound. Both Beard and Child were born in the West: Beard in Portland, Oregon and Child in Pasadena, California. Both grew up with family cooks and were heavily influenced by world travel in their culinary careers.
James Beard’s “I Love to Eat” launched in 1946 and Child’s “The French Chef” launched in 1963. The two television stars became the best of friends. Both “went American” later in life, driving the farm to table movement that emphasized lovingly prepared fresh seasonal ingredients.
Both Beard and Child authored many classic cookbooks and were awarded honorary degrees, Beard at Reed College and Child at Harvard University. Both filled the “desert” that had been the American world of food with life and light.
Beard and Child both made cooking a unisex chore. Beard set an example that made it all right for American men to cook. Child’s sophisticated husband Paul was critical to her culinary success, though he preferred to stay out of the spotlight.
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience,” said James Beard. Let Beard and Child convince and convert you with these charming “Chefs Flight” films!