Alex Prud’homme was the person (and grandnephew) who helped Julia Child write My Life in France. Today he gives us a new take on the culinary master—an objective perspective on the woman whose soul embraced France, but who was by, of, and for America. A woman revered, talented, and flawed—and above all, beloved. Familiar stories are given new dimensions, and new tales open up further ways to know the cook who changed home cooking.
In this enchanting follow-up to My Life in France—Julia Child’s beloved and best-selling memoir—her co-author and grandnephew, Alex Prud’homme, chronicles Julia’s rise from home cook to the first celebrity chef. While at the beginning of her career Julia’s name was synonymous with French cooking, she fashioned a new identity in the 1970s, reinventing and Americanizing herself. Here we see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, and ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. The story of a remarkable woman who found her true voice in middle age and profoundly shaped our relationship with food, The French Chef in America is a fascinating look at the second act of a unique culinary icon.
About the Author
Alex Prud’homme is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications. He is the co-author of Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France, and authored or co-authored four other books: The Ripple Effect, Hydrofracking, The Cell Game, and Forewarned. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
“Inspiring and engaging. . . . It’s impossible not to love Julia Child.” —Anita Lo, The Wall Street Journal
“Joyous . . . poignant. . . . There was no one quite like Julia Child, who changed the world with her wit and whisks.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Child’s voice comes through clearly in this affectionate account of the second half of her long career.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“[An] intricately and intriguingly detailed biography of [Prud’homme’s] delicious, good-naturedly opinionated great-aunt, Julia Child.” —Mimi Sheraton, The Daily Beast
“[The French Chef in America] highlights flavors and philosophies that fueled [Julia Child’s] style of cooking, the legacy of which would go on to change and shape the way we eat today.” —Nylon
“A warm, nuanced celebration of ‘Our Lady of the Ladle’ . . . . [Prud’homme] delights with behind-the-scenes details of Child’s later life in the U.S. after years in France. Through extensive conversations with many who worked with Child and those she’s inspired, including Emeril Lagasse and Sara Moulton, Prud’homme explores [Child’s story]. . . . With Prud’hommes’s gentle hand, readers see the truth of Child behind her playful persona.” —Publishers Weekly “The French Chef in America shows us a newly famous Child, who at times struggles with her celebrity but manages nonetheless to define a new kind of food television and secure her own enduring legacy.” —Smithsonian magazine “Delightful. . . . Family photos of the personality-driven star add an intimate quality.” —Tasting Table “Prud’homme deftly chronicles the years after Julia Child left France. . . . As Child’s grandnephew, Prud’homme is able to provide an intimate portrait of Child’s life by sharing photographs, excerpts of key letters and daily journals, and personal memories. He dishes up the story of Child’s life . . . in a manner as engaging as Julia Child herself and as delicious as one of her recipes.” —Booklist