The official word: For decades, following her screen debut on WGBH Boston, culinary pioneer and beloved public television icon Julia Child opened up new worlds for generations of Americans, showing them that cooking, even French cuisine, was enjoyable and within reach for all. In celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday on August 15, 2012, PBS will honor Child’s legacy through a multi-platform initiative spanning on-air, online, and social media engagement.
The public television celebration of this effort, from August 5 to 15, begins in the kitchen. PBS viewers and Julia Child fans are encouraged to cook their own versions of a classic Julia dish and share the experience through pictures and blogs on PBS Food and by using the Twitter hashtag #CookforJulia. Julia Child content can also be shared through various other social media channels, such as PBS’ Facebook page, PBS Food’s Facebook page, YouTube and Pinterest.
PBS invites fans to visit PBS Food as the home for all Julia Child content and to view nearly 100 exclusive limited-time full episodes from: IN JULIA’S KITCHEN WITH MASTER CHEFS, COOKING WITH MASTER CHEFS, THE FRENCH CHEF CLASSICS, BAKING WITH JULIA and three COOKING IN CONCERT specials, as well as recipes and other fun Julia-related content, including articles, links, quotes and a Julia personality quiz.
“At PBS, we are focused on serving the public with content that educates, enlightens and entertains. Julia Child embodied those characteristics, which made her a beloved public broadcasting icon,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. “With this multi-platform celebration, we’ve not only created a way for people of any age to explore Julia’s life and legacy, but we’re also encouraging them to get into the kitchen and cook, which is exactly what Julia would have wanted.”
The broadcast component of the celebration includes an encore presentation of JULIA CHILD MEMORIES: BON APPETIT! as part of PBS’ special August programming, as well as exclusive broadcasts of THE FRENCH CHEF CLASSICS, three episodes of Child’s original program, THE FRENCH CHEF, one of which has not aired since debuting in the 1960s (courtesy of WGBH Boston and distributed by American Public Television [APT]). A Julia Child marathon on August 18 and 19 on public television’s lifestyle channel, Create TV (also distributed by APT), will top off nearly three weeks of birthday activities (check local listings for all programs).
Additionally, PBS, Create and APT will honor her legacy through special tributes from well-known food personalities, producers, food bloggers and fans by encouraging the submission of testimonials, video blogs or favorite Julia memories by all who knew her personally or admired her from afar.
“Julia and I saw cooking the same way — a simple meal made with great care and the best ingredients, and a love for sharing the food with family and friends. She taught me to be more easy-going and casual and, more importantly, to have fun as we were teaching, and because of that (and her), I’ve been fortunate to have 13 series on public television, including my current one, Essential Pepin,” said public television chef Jacques Pépin. “I think it’s fitting to pay tribute to Julia by inviting people to share their own Julia-inspired creations.”
Fans can visit ShopPBS for a complete collection of all Julia Child cookbooks, THE FRENCH CHEF WITH JULIA CHILD DVDs, biographies and more. Throughout August, ShopPBS will run exclusive promotions, Facebook offers and more, to celebrate 100 years of this culinary icon. The JULIA CHILD’S FRENCH CLASSICS DVD, released on July 3, is available from ShopPBS.