Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Loss of a Legend

Famed Chef Julia Child Dies at 91

"In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal" --- Julia Child

We deplore the loss of Julia Child. The beloved culinary icon who revolutionized the food world in the U.S. and influenced countless chefs, culinary professionals and home cooks with her cookbooks and popular TV lessons, died in her sleep three days before what would have been her 92nd birthday.

Her publisher, Nicholas Latimer, director of publicity for Alfred A. Knopf publishing, issued a statement Friday saying she died on Thursday at her home in Santa Barbara, Calif. The cause of death was not given.

According to her firm wishes, said Susan Walter, Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the American Institute of Wine & Food, there will be no funeral. Her family plans a small, private service at this time.

Child was a co-founder of the AIWF and active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. We at Gayot will doubly feel the loss of Child, as we are very closely involved with the Institute. The AIWF is organizing a public memorial service in honor of Julia’s contribution to the world and recognizing all that she has done for the AIWF. Contributions in Julia’s honor may be made to The AIWF Founder’s Endowment Fund. Funds will be used to support programs and projects that Julia has advocated.

To Child, eating with family and friends was "one of life's primal and most innocent delights." Child did not take a cooking lesson until she was in her 30s. She learned cooking while living in France where she enrolled in the Cordon Bleu cooking institute in Paris.

"I'd been looking for my life's work all along," she told Associated Press. "And when I got into cooking I found it. I was inspired by the tremendous seriousness with which they took it."

The charismatic Child brought French cuisine to America with her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She was a prolific writer and author of many other titles including The Way to Cook, From Julia Child's Kitchen, Julia Child & Company and Julia Child & More Company
.

(Updated: 09/22/10 NW)

RESTAURANT AWARDS 2014

Check out the 2014 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Rising Chefs and more.