Julia Child interview Me: How did you get involved in World war II? Julia Child: In 1941, at the onset of World War II, I moved to Washington, D. C. , where I volunteered as a research assistant for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a newly formed government intelligence agency. In this position, I played a key role in the communication of top-secret documents between U. S. government officials and their intelligence officers. My colleagues and I were sent on assignments around the world, holding posts in Washington, D. C. , Kumming, China; and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In 1945, while in Sri Lanka, This is where I began a relationship with fellow OSS employee Paul Child. Me: How come after World War II, did you and your husband Paul move to Paris, France? Me: Why did you and your husband move to Paris, France after the war? Child: Well after the war Paul was reassigned to the U. S. Information Service at the American Embassy in Paris. We both looked at is as an opportunity to begin a new life, meet new people, and discover our passions. When we moved here the very first day Paul took me to a restaurant where I had my first French cuisine.
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If it wasn’t for us moving here I would have never had a penchant for French cuisine and attended the world-famous Cordon Bleu cooking school . Me: How successful were your cook books in your culinary career? Child: The original publisher rejected the manuscript, however, due to its 734-page length. Another publisher eventually accepted the 3-lb. cookbook, releasing it in September 1961 under the title Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book was considered groundbreaking, and remained the bestselling cookbook for five straight years after its publication.
It has since become a standard guide for the culinary community. Me: How did your television career begin? Child: One day I promoted my book on the Boston public television station near my Cambridge, Massachusetts, home. I went on the air demonstrated my trademark forthright manner and hearty humor, by preparing an omelet on air. The public’s response was enthusiastic, generating 27 letters and countless phone calls—”a remarkable response,” a station executive remembered, “given that station management occasionally wondered if 27 viewers were tuned in. Me: Why were you sometimes harshly criticized on your show? Child: Occasionally I would fail to wash my hands, as well as what they believed to be poor kitchen demeanor. “You are quite a revolting chef, the way you snap bones and play with raw meats,” one letter read. I can’t stand those over-sanitary people! Others were concerned about the high levels of fat in French cooking. My advice was to eat in moderation. I would rather eat one tablespoon of chocolate russe cake than three bowls of Jell-O.