New Book Shines Light On Little Known Part Of Life Of Cooking Legend, South Coast Icon Julia Child

Nov 9, 2017

Long before American had TV shows likes Top Chef, Iron Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, and entire gastronomical networks like “The Food Channel,” Julia Child pioneered the idea of cooking shows with “The French Chef.”

Child died in 2004, but the iconic chef, author, and TV show host who lived in Montecito for the final years of her life was a familiar face in the community. While she is gone, her legacy lives on, and part of it is being featured in a new book.

FRANCE IS A FEAST: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child is the work of Alex Prud’homme, and photo editor Katie Pratt.

Prud’homme is related to the Childs, with Paul and Julia his grand uncle and grand aunt. Prud’homme says they couple’s story is amazing. World War II brought them together. They both worked for the Office of Strategic Services, the OSS, and met while stationed in China.

After the war, he was a diplomat stationed in Europe. The book features more than 200 photographs to tell the story of the couple’s little known early years together, in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Prud’homme says what happened when they moved to the U.S. was remarkable. He put his career on the back burner to give Julia a chance to blossom. With the publishing of her book, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking, and her PBS TV series, her career was off and running. By 1967, she had won a Peabody Award, and made the cover of Time Magazine.

The new book features more than 200 of Paul Child’s photographs, which show what life was like in postwar France, but really capture Julia Child as she starts to blossom as a writer and personality.  Paul Child was a prolific photographer, taking pictures of everything from landscapes to of course his wife.

Prud’homme says the photographs really tell an incredible love story. FRANCE IS A FEAST: The Photographic Journey of Paul And Julia Child is now out in bookstores, and online.