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Julia Child's 100th birthday: Toques off to a culinary legend

August 15, 2012|By Rene Lynch

Julia Child would have been 100 years old today, but there's no doubt that this culinary and cultural legend has achieved immortality by the way the nation is celebrating her centennial birthday.

To start with, #JuliaChild is trending on Twitter, and "Julia Child" is the single most searched-for term on Google on Wednesday morning.

Then, there's the Google Doodle -- a technological nod to Child's lasting cultural significance. The Google Doodle shows her in her kitchen surrounded by many of the foods she taught Americans to cook without fear: whole chickens, fish, and chocolate layer cake, items that cleverly form the "Google" in the doodle.

PHOTOS: Julia Child: Her life in pictures

Anyone with a passing knowledge of Child (or anyone who has ever seen the movie "Julie & Julia") knows what's in that heavy-duty stew pot: Child's famous Boeuf Bourguignon.

After the Google Doodle, there's the auto-tuned remix meets mash-up of Child hits, recipes, and one-liners. It's one of the hottest ways to pay homage to some of our cultural greats. (A Mr. Rogers version was making the Internet rounds not too long ago.)

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has also placed Child's beloved Cambridge, Mass., kitchen back on display for a limited time.

The kitchen was used as the set for three television shows and for recipe testing. "The kitchen contains hundreds of tools, appliances, and furnishings arranged exactly as they were when Child donated the kitchen to the museum in 2001," the museum says on its website.

There are countless Child honorifics kicking around today. Call us biased, but here's one of our favorites: Author Julie Powell, whose autobiographical book, "Julie and Julia,"was later turned into the movie, wrote a piece for the L.A. Times today headlined "How Julia Child taught me to cook -- and live."

The op-ed piece argues that Child's landmark tome, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," is not just a cookbook: It just may be the greatest self-help book ever written.

Bon Appetit!

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ and Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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