March is Women's History Month; a thirty-one day celebration of women’s contributions to the world. There have been innumerable noteworthy female figures throughout the years; game-changing women in politics, civil rights, education, the arts and pretty much every other field you can imagine.
Of course, being a food blogger, I am obsessed with female chefs and food-industry pioneers who paved the way for other women in a still predominantly male-dominated profession. Did you know that to this day, according to a recent Bloomberg study, men overwhelmingly hold the highest-paying and most prominent kitchen spots at non-chain restaurants in America? But, I say, it’s the women that have the majority of good taste! While Julia Child never held a restaurant chef position, she is definitely a revered personality who has long captured our attention and appetites in the world of food. The legendary television chef and cookbook author didn’t even start cooking until age 32 (until that she “just ate”) when she was inspired to take up culinary classes while living in France during the late 1940s. It was the two-volume tome of taste and techniques that jettisoned her into the ranks of culinary stardom, a cookbook titled Mastering the Art of French Cooking. First published in 1961, this recipe-filled manual was a best seller for the entire five years following its debut thanks to the groundbreaking way in which Child adapted the cooking methods and beloved dishes of France for the accessibility and abilities of mainstream American housewives. While sitting down to a dinner of Child’s dishes as a guest is simply divine, the implementation of her recipes can be a little complicated. I think they are meant for the home cook with a high level of detail and perseverance, or at least a person with much more time on her hands than most of us juggling a hectic 21st century schedule. While very interesting to read, recipes can go on for pages as Child describes every technical detail of executing a recipe to utter perfection, be that extracting bone marrow, scaling a fish or creating an aromatic herb bouquet.