Famous Julia Child Quotes From the Original Celebrity Chef

Julia Child, America's beloved television chef, was renowned for bringing French cooking to ambitious American cooks. Her witty personality and sense of humor led to plenty of famous Julia Child quotes that won over her adoring audience, and despite her love for butter, she lived until the ripe old age of 91.

Although she was an honored and accomplished chef, Child wasn't always in love with food. It wasn't until she was married and in her 30s that she got serious about cooking. She credited her husband, Paul, for this, saying he was responsible for teaching her to appreciate fine French cuisine. Shortly after their wedding, the pair moved to Paris when Paul was relocated with the U.S. State Department. While there, Child enrolled in culinary classes at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and graduated in 1951 at the age of 39. She was the first woman inducted into the Culinary Institute of America Hall of Fame.

Child's first cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," was coauthored by Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle and was an instant success. The 726-page cookbook was followed by her first television cooking series, "The French Chef," in 1963 and featured the recipes in her award-winning book. The show was a hit for 10 years and spurred a long list of new cookbooks and television shows spanning almost 40 years.

Child's winning smile and jovial personality won over the hearts of America's amateur home cooks and professional chefs alike. The most famous Julia Child quotes were a result of her popular cooking shows and television episodes. She began and ended many of her episodes with, "This is Julia Child. Bon appétit!"

The following are some of the most famous Julia Child quotes about cooking and all things delicious:

Her View on Butter:

  • "The best way to soften the butter is to beat it up first."
  • "If you're afraid of butter, use cream."
  • "I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it — and, more important, I like to give it."
  • "It's always better with butter." (In fact, Child said she used 573 pounds of the best and freshest unsalted butter in the seven weeks of taping "Baking With Julia.")

Her View on Wine:

  • "I enjoy cooking with wine; sometimes, I even put it in the food I'm cooking."
  • "As you get older, you shouldn't waste time drinking bad wine."

Her View on Meat and Fish:

  • "Don't crowd the pan ... or you'll be sorry."
  • "Fish should not smell fishy. It should have a fresh, ocean-y taste," Child told Jacques Pépin on a "Cooking at Home" episode they starred in together.

More Famous Julia Child Quotes:

  • "I just hate health food."
  • "It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions."
  • "I think every woman should have a blowtorch."
  • "If it's beautifully arranged on the plate, you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
  • "Always remember, if you're alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who's going to know?"
  • "There's nothing wrong with sugar. It's just empty calories."
  • "Learn how to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all, have fun."

If you're interested in exploring the classic cooking techniques that Child learned in Paris, consider enrolling in a culinary school that offers beginner and advanced courses as well as weekend workshops.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons