The French Chef
|The French Chef|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||28 minutes 46 seconds|
|Original run||February 11, 1963 – 1973
The French Chef is a television cooking show created and hosted by Julia Child, and produced and broadcast by WGBH, the public television station in Boston, Massachusetts, from February 11, 1963 to 1973. It was one of the first cooking shows on american television.
The show grew out of some special presentations that Child did based on the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she had co-authored. The French Chef was produced from 1963 to 1973 by WGBH for National Educational Television (and later for PBS). Reruns continued on PBS until 1989, and currently air on Cooking Channel as of 2010.
The French Chef introduced French cooking to the United States at a time when it was considered expensive restaurant fare, not suitable for home cooking. Child emphasized fresh and, at the time, unusual ingredients. All of the recipes used on The French Chef had originally appeared in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but for the show, Child chose mostly the more domestic recipes from the book, although such showpieces as Beef Wellington, various sorts of soufflé, and some ambitious pastries also made it into the mix if they seemed within the reach of a home cook without staff.
The show was done live-to-videotape from start to finish, leaving little room for mistakes. The resulting occasional accidents became a popular trademark of Child's on air presence, used as "teachable moments" to encourage viewers to relax about the task's demands.
Certain elements became leitmotifs: Julia's fondness for wine; her ornate speech; her staunch defense of the use of butter (with margarine invariably referred to as "that other spread") and cream; her standard issue "impeccably clean towel"; and her closing line at the end of every show: "Bon appétit!"
|This section requires expansion. (April 2011)|
|“||So good is she that men who have not the slightest intention of going to the kitchen for anything but ice cubes watch her for pure enjoyment.||”|
When the show began, its budget was so low that "volunteers had to be recruited to wash dishes, and the food sometimes had to be auctioned off to the audience afterward to cover expenses."
In 1964 Child received a Peabody Award, crediting her for doing "more than show us how good cooking is achieved; by her delightful demonstrations she has brought the pleasures of good living into many American homes." In May 1966, her show won a Primetime Emmy Award for Achievements in Educational Television – Individuals.
The August 27, 1968, episode of The French Chef (rerun from an episode sometime in 1965) ended with the unexpected collapse of an Apple Charlotte.
The February 11, 1972, episode of The French Chef (on its ninth anniversary) was the first U.S. television show to be captioned for deaf viewers.
Companion books 
Two companion cookbooks were written along with the show. The French Chef Cookbook was a show-by-show breakdown of the black and white series, while From Julia Child's Kitchen was a somewhat more ambitious work that was based on the color series but also added considerable extra material.
DVD releases 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2011)|
- Julia Child's Kitchen Wisdom (2000)
- Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home (2003)
- Julia Child: America's Favorite Chef (2004)
- The French Chef: Volume One (2005)
- The French Chef: Volume Two (2005)
- Julia Child! The French Chef (2006)
- The French Chef: Julia Child's French Classics (2012)
- J.C. Maçek III (August 13, 2012). "Bless This Mess: Sweeping the Kitchen with Julia Child". PopMatters.
- "Food: Everyone's in the Kitchen". Time. November 25, 1966. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "Personal Award for The French Chef". Peabody Award. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "Personal Award for The French Chef". Primetime Emmy Award. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "A Brief History of Captioned Television". National Captioning Institute. Retrieved 2011-04-28. "While the closed captioning service was being developed, there were some programs with "open" captions airing on PBS. In 1972, The French Chef became the very first television program that was accessible to deaf and hard of hearing viewers."
- Julia Child (1963). The French Chef Cookbook. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 424.
- Julia Child (1970). From Julia Child's Kitchen. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 687.
- Lambert, David (August 15, 2012). "The French Chef – Press Release: 'Julia Child's French Classics' DVD, On Her 100th Birthday". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.