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Jul 31, 2009 07:25 AM

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.

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  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. The original comment has been removed
        1. 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.