Knit to This: The French Chef

By Kay Gardiner
June 11, 2022

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24 Comments
  • Thanks for the tip about PBS Passport; sounds like something I’d like. Happy WWKIP DAY!

  • I actually have all episodes of The French Chef on DVD. I wonder if I can remember how to turn on my DVD player?

  • I didn’t learn to cook growing up but my apartment mate had and she suggested a Julia Child recipe the first time I invited guests over. The chicken and rice dish was delicious and best of all the recipe assumed I knew nothing (true) and explained everything. For years it was my go-to and I became a huge fan of Julia’s.

  • We borrowed The French Chef on DVD from the library a couple of months ago. We eagerly watched every evening, and loved every episode. Think I may buy them so I can watch whenever I feel the need. Love her!

  • Oh, thank you! I’m happy to know this is on my Passport. Back in the 70s I faithfully watched Julia every Saturday afternoon. I rarely used her actual recipes even though I have her cookbooks, but I learned so much cooking technique. You’ve made me want to watch again. We are heading into a major heat wave. This sounds like the perfect stay-cool-inside activity.

  • We have always been supporters of public media (PBS, NPR, and our local public stations); Passport was an unexpected and very welcome gift that surpassed all the tote bags and coffee mugs we collected over the years for our support. It is a treasure trove of quality programming. And Julia! I love all the Julia Child dramatizations but nothing beats being able to see the original. She was such a genius in her ability to break down complex recipes and techniques into simple steps that anyone can follow while always being mindful of what her viewers/readers would have available by way of ingredients and equipment. Public Television and Julia Child, both national treasures.

    • You wrote exactly how I feel about Julia! I can add nothing more!
      Julia and Mr. Rogers are two things that will always make my heart warm and a smile
      to my face!

      • Julia and Mr Rogers have a very brief scene together in the recent HBO “Julia” series and it’s really quite thrilling.

  • My partner and I immediately sat and watched the clips, I wanted him to know about her. I never watched her show growing up but I do really appreciate her now, not least of all because of the battles she overcame just to get her show on to PBS in the first place. Plus she “invented” the technique of always having a finished dish ready, brilliant!

  • Not to downplay the wonders of the PBS Passport, but the free online streaming service Pluto has an entire Julia channel. All Julia, all the time, from the glorious episodes of The French Chef to Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.

    • OMG, thank you! (now I can find out why an x in an onion)

  • We would come home after school in 1963 to discover my mother watching this new cooking show. My sister and I became entranced with it also. I remember one episode where Julia made Ratatouille and Moussaka which we’d never heard of but just the way she enunciated those words I can hear to this day. I never have Ratatouille now without hearing her voice in my head saying it. Thanks for the tip, I will tune in to Passport and hopefully get to see that episode and others again.

    • Ratatouille and moussaka – ha! 😉 For my mother and me, it was Ms. Childs’ enunciation of “blanquette de veau” that remains forever memorable!

  • I have PBS Passport but had no idea her show was on it! I have been devouring Julia on HBO and it made me long to see the original show – and now I know how I can see it! Thank you!

  • I just discovered that last weekend after finishing Annika! I started with the “Vegetables” episode and was charmed by her all over again.

  • Hi Kay,
    I really enjoy your style. You seem to capture the Essence from the ether. I can almost hear and see the excerpts of the program. A friend long ago gave me Julia’s First 2 volumes cookbooks. She found them difficult. I learned a great deal from them especially how to improvise.
    Thank you for your insight and recommendations. They go a long way to entertain, inform and sooth the soul.

  • PBS has recently launched a Julia channel on YouTube, as well.

  • True story – my 6 year old grandchild loves to cook. When she was 4 she told me that when she grows up she wants to be… who is that lady who says (and in a perfect intonation and accent) “Bon Appetite!”? Sadly she no long aspires to be Julia Childs for a brief moment, she kind of was.

    • My 5 yo grandson loves to cook; as do his parents & grandparents. We all believe in Julia’s suggestion to feed them everything from the start. He recently had his 5 yo check up and the pediatrician asked him what his favorite food was “ pasta with clams, but only fresh clams!” She’d never had that response before!

  • She it sounds delightful but if have to watch on mute. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
    I have passport; it must have been a free trial I got to cancel. I enjoy the shows but most of them are foreign language and some of those aren’subtitled. Since I knit, sew, embroider or some other work while I watch those are all out. It lowers the value of the subscription quite a bit.

    • There are hundreds of hours of Great Performances available via Passport, all of which make great Knit to Thises. Some of them are even – gasp! – in English!

  • Takes me back to the last century, Culver City, Ruth’s living room. Inspiring and laughing at the same moment. What a woman Julia was.

  • I can remember my parents watching Julia back in the 60’s. My mom had a pad of paper and a pencil scribbling down the recipes as Julia talked. No www back then to download recipes. My dad recently passed away and I got their copy of The Art of French Cooking. I‘ll cherish it and use it forever.

  • There is nothing more comforting in cool weather than a bowl of boeuf bourguinon. It is warming and delicious. The first time i made her coq au vin, i thought’ this is a lot of work, it better be good’, and then i tasted it! Oh it was delightful. i make them both frequently through out the year, and they have both held places of honor on out Christmas Eve table.