"As always, Julia": The real skinny on how “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” came to be

Saturday, January 15, 2011 @ 4:00am

Event Info


$5; $3 for students; no charge for CHC members or Kendall College students and faculty


Kendall College

900 N. North Branch Street





The year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Join us as one of Chicago’s own culinary treasures, Joan Reardon, shares the "backstory" of the development of that classic cookbook as revealed in the letters between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. Dr. Reardon knew Julia personally and stresses the letters’ importance in understanding the beloved woman who achieved iconic status in America's culinary world in her book As always, Julia: The letters of Julia Child & Avis DeVoto. Copies of Reardon's book will be available for purchase and signing, and tastings from Mastering the Art of French Cooking will be served.

A founding member of the Culinary Historians of Chicago, Joan Reardon has credentials as diverse as a doctorate in English literature and an accredited culinary certificate. Her cookbook, Oysters: A Culinary Celebration, was published to critical acclaim in 1984 and revised in 2000. Another one of Reardon’s books, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table (1994), was nominated for an IACP Award in 1995. Her biography Poet of the Appetites: The Life of M.F.K. Fisher was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in October 2004, and she received the coveted IACP Award for Culinary Writing in spring 2005. Her centennial volume honoring Fisher’s 100th birthday, M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans, was published by the University of California Press in 2008.

Cost of the lecture program is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members or Kendall students and faculty. To reserve, please call Dawn McGlone at 630-620-1457 or e-mail your reservation to Culinary.Historians@gmail.com.