30 Over 30: Julia Child

In 2008, declassified documents revealed that during World War II, Julia Child worked for the Office of Strategic Service, a precursor to the CIA. Stationed in Sri Lanka and China, she conducted research on shark repellant to aid an effort to prevent the accidental detonation of explosives intended for German U-boats. She also processed classified messages about American secret operations in Asia.

What she is most known for, however, is radically altering the landscape of American cuisine, with her best-selling cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her beloved television program, The French Chef. Julia Child took her first cooking class at age 32.

What I love most about Julia is how unapologetic she was for who she was and what she was making. Through countless mistakes, she didn’t question herself or her abilities, but took note, and soldiered on. Case in point:

Or, as she summarized: “Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis! Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes.”

Also who wouldn’t love someone who has been quoted as saying “I think every woman should have a blowtorch”?

To read about more women making critical contributions – even after age 30 – follow me on twitter @shespoised

Categories: 30 Over 30

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