HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Open Letter to PBS: Bring Julia back!!!

Dear PBS:
According to the food industry insider interviewed by Michael Pollan for his article in the 8/2/09 New York Times Magazine, the future is one in which people will neither cook from scratch nor know how to. This is partially because there are too few cooks from whom to learn.
Well, you've got the best one sitting there in your tape vaults. Meryl Streep's new movie is bound to resurrect interest in Julia Child. Now would be a great time to resurrect her cooking shows....ALL of them. You probably think a black&white cooking show without fast camera cuts and upbeat music isn't flashy enough for today's audiences. With people now more interested than ever in limiting artificial ingredients, wasteful packaging, and the weekly grocery bill, cooking shows that actually teach technique are more needed than ever.
Although some of your current cooking shows demonstrate and explain techniques very well, they assume an extensive pantry and a broad array of topnotch equipment that may scare off the novice cook. In Julia's early shows, she worked with basic equipment and a far less extensive ingredient list reflective of the smaller selection in that era's grocery stores.
Cut back on the grills, peppers, and pasta pots, and give working adults the opportunity to learn the skills and principles they need in order to understand how and what to cook.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Julia is making the comeback... her series is currently airing on public television's CREATE TV with BAKING WITH JULIA. And in September they'll be airing JULIA AND JACQUES COOKING AT HOME.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Professional.Eater

      I didn't know there was a whole J&J series - I've seen a few of their duo shows and they are already being sporadically repeated on PBS on weekends. Their good-natured disagreements, tempered with respect and love, are charming, and illustrative of the fact that there's often more than one way to skin a chicken. That's comforting to experiences cooks but maybe confusing to the novice, who lacks the experience to be able to choose what's best for him/her. As for Baking with Julia, I find it a little sad in that she was clearly beginning to decline physically, and served more as commentator than cook.
      They should focus on her earlier series, not the last ones, IMHO.

      1. re: Professional.Eater

        I saw a bit of "Baking With Julia" last night as I was channel flipping. She had on Marion Cunningham, and Marion was making muffins, scones, and one other thing. How lovely it was to see her again! Julia didn't do anything (except throw egg shells in the sink and try the muffin and chat with Marion Cunningham) but nevertheless, quite wonderful to see her on air again. I will definitely be looking for more of her on the schedule!

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I'd love to see that show in particular, because I love Marion Cunningham too. She is someone who should be better-known than she is now. Her recipes are failproof and the food they produce delicious.

      2. GMTA Greygarious!

        I especially want all the French Chefs to run. Those are classics!

        1. I picked up the French Chef series on DVD a few years ago, which never gets old:


          1. I loved the Julia Child Cooks for Company series. The books from it are excellent too. Will always remember the beer can opener method of oyster shucking I first saw on it.

              1. This is the first of (2 or 3) pledge weeks in the SFBA (KQED) -- perhaps mention this when/if you renew your subscription?

                1. i loved the julia and jacques show! i'm thrilled that create will be airing these.

                  there were many great "moments" on all of julia's shows, and hounds recall some of them here on this thread i started a while back. please chime in. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/447709

                  1. We watched Julia this weekend on our local PBS station. She made omelettes without using a utensil.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lewes17266

                      Ok, so I ordered a french omelet pan so my 6 year old and I can make omelets - he was fascinated.

                    2. "julia and jacques: cooking at home" was on tonight on create. YAY! i love their interaction.

                      hawking the cookbook from the series, the pbs spokesperson says, "loving photographs and differing opinions about food." LOL!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alkapal

                        We aren't getting Julia and Jacques on our Create right now. I wrote them and asked them to air it and MORE JULIA.


                      2. There are many good series I would like to see again.
                        Madaleine Kamin, Justin Morgan, Jacques et fils,
                        Mostly on PBS, not Food network.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: jayt90

                          I have never seen Justin Morgan. Sounds like I've missed something. I'll poke around the 'net to learn about him.

                          Yes, I'd love to see Julia's shows back on tv.

                          1. re: fern

                            Justin Morgan established the Morgan Horse breed. Believe jayt90 means Justin Wilson, Madeleine Kamman, and Jacques Pepin et fille (his daughter is Claudine; no son).

                            1. re: greygarious

                              Ah, there you go. Thanks for clearing that up.

                              I just received Jacques Pepin's "Chez Jacques" as a gift in the mail yesterday. There's a photo of his wife, Gloria, from some years back. Claudine really resembles her.

                          2. re: jayt90

                            Madeleine Kamman's shows were really excellent. I still use trucs she showed in my cooking.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              buttertart, i'm intrigued by the apparent dislike/disdain kamman reputedly had for julia child. i liked her show, too.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Me too, on the surface at least it would seem to be jealousy as much as anything - a case of why not me, I'm as good as/as well-trained as she, why didn't I hit the big time (I can tell you why, random walk of fame plus the fact that Julia had a big telegenic and very appealing personality, whereas Mme Kamman's on-screen persona was more reserved and considerably edgier. I doubt it bothered Julia at all, as the wonderful Turkish saying goes, the rabbit got mad at the mountain but the mountain didn't care.

                          3. I have a soft spot for Julia Child and company. That was the first time I ever watched Julia and I became an instant fan.