I recently downloaded The French Chef. The cooking show Julia Child created. I know, it’s a bit cliché to talk about Julia Child, but up until this week, I’d never actually seen an episode of one of her shows. I'd seen clips, and the Saturday night live spoof, but never one from beginning to end. They have names like “The Potato Show”, and the “The omelette Show”, where she’ll spend 30 minutes going over 5 or 6 ways to cook something specific. What’s really interesting is that it almost feels like she’s introducing these things for the first time. Which she probably was. Teaching Americans how to cook cook lobster or pan flip eggs.
Beyond the food, the production of the show is also great. No cuts, almost nothing pre-prepared, she just plops the food down on the plate, without much if any concern for presentation. She drops things, she loses her glasses, says things constantly like “If no one is watching, you can do…..”. It feels so much more real than an episode of Rachel Ray, and really makes me wish shows were more like that now. It seems cooking shows now work so hard to be perfect, that it becomes more of a voyeuristic exercise than an educational one. Sure, the food looks good, and they never make any mistakes, but I think people are intimidated by that. Flaws are what connect you to a person, bring them down to earth. I was going to write out one of her recipes, but it wouldn't do the video justice. Enjoy: