Julia Child came to Paris, in 1949 as a former spy for the OSS (the precursor to the CIA) with her diplomat husband not knowing how to cook, speak French, or eat escargot. That all changed after her first bite of sole munière, and, as she walked down Rue Cler to buy her groceries among the vendors, she learned how to effectively select meat from the boucherie, fish from the poissonnerie, bread from the boulangerie, cheese from the fromagerie, and wine from a caviste such as Nicolas.
What is astonishing about her book, “My Life in France”, is that so many of the places she writes about remain Parisian institutions to this day. It is as if time has stood still, and you can experience, like Julia Child, the same restaurant, kitchen store, cafe, brasserie or other specialty shop just as she would have back in the early 1950s. It is without exaggeration that the restaurant Le Grand Vefour, one of her favorites, remains one of the White Glove restaurants in Paris today, just as it did when she and Paul Child went there 60 years ago.
What is remarkable is that so many of these places continue to be venerable institutions in Paris to this day. Dehillerin, a professional chef’s store for gadgets, copper pots and other utensils, is identical to the way it was when Julia Child became one of their best customers. Equally impressive is the fact that Le Cordon Bleu, where she graduated, is one of the most renowned cooking schools in the world, and remains a thriving culinary school for professional chefs, students, and hobbyists.
In following Julia, we take you to the same spots she adored, sipping coffee at Les Deux Magots, eating soupe à l’oignon gratinée at Au Pied de Cochon, shopping on Rue Cler, or dining at the traditional restaurant Chez Georges. We are not only your walking guide to Paris, we bring to life Julia Child’s yesteryear, preserving the golden age that continues to sparkle like the Eiffel Tower, casting its light over the streets of Paris.