Editor Recalls Julia Child Visit to Vermont

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(Host) Julia Child, who died Friday at the age of 91, had been to Vermont a number of times to visit her longtime editor who lives here during the summer. Judith Jones of East Hardwick was Julia Child’s editor at Knopf from the beginning, when “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was published in 1961. On one visit to Vermont, the two women were invited to speak in Saint Johnsbury and Jones describes it like this:

(Judith Jones) “It was remarkable to me the outpouring of interest, the questions, the shear appreciation and love of Julia was so palpable. I remember people asking about French cooking and was it complicated and this and that. And someone asked how you really define French cooking and Julia thought for a minute and said: ‘Soignee.’ And she said, ‘What I mean is you take some fresh green beans and you dump them in pot of boiling water and when you drain them and salt them and turn them in nice fresh butter you have a dish that is ‘soignee.’ And you could just hear the whole audience purring with excitement about that one word.”

(Host) Judith Jones says that over the years Julia Child not only opened a door to the pleasures of eating but also to the pleasures of cooking. Jones acknowledges that an ingredient that is dear to Vermonters was also special to Julia Child:

(Judith Jones): “Pure butter; nothing wrong with that.”

(Host) Jones says Julia Child will be remembered for providing the world with good taste.

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