Nov 30, 2021 - Things to Do

Cooking with Julia Child at Austin's Ransom Center

Julia Child with her hands full of tomatoes.

Chef Julia Child in her Cambridge, Mass. home in 1992. Photo: AP Photo/Jon Chase

Among the rejected titles for "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," the 1961 book that launched Julia Child's career as America's famed and beloved chef: "Cooking Is My Hobby."

Driving the news: The minor revelation surfaces in letters from the archive of publisher Alfred A. Knopf, now on display at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas through late January.

The small exhibit — Asher stumbled across it while checking out the neighboring, expansive and remarkable Ransom show about the works of Gabriel García Márquez — offers behind-the-scenes details of one of America's most beloved cookbooks.

Child, who died in 2004 and may be best known for her PBS cooking shows, has long been the subject of public fascination.

  • In 2009, Meryl Streep portrayed Child in the film "Julie & Julia."
  • Next year, the esteemed historian Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz will take a crack at Child's formation as a popular author and television personality.

🏆 Pro tip: Admission at the Ransom Center is free.

Bonus tip: Asher really likes the chicken bento box at Pinch, a food truck across the street from the Ransom Center: Karaage chicken, cabbage, broccoli, pickled radish and green onions are served atop a bed of rice. Totally yummy — and the tofu version is excellent, too.


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