The French Chef

The French Chef
Starring Julia Child
Country of origin United States
Running time 28 minutes 46 seconds
Original network

WGBH (producer)

NET (1963-1970)

PBS (1970-1973)
Original release February 11, 1963 – February 11, 1973
Cooking Channel
Gusto TV
(December 2013–present)

The French Chef is a television cooking show created and hosted by Julia Child,[1] produced and broadcast by WGBH, the public television station in Boston, Massachusetts, from February 11, 1963 to February 11, 1973. It was one of the first cooking shows on American television.

The show grew out of a special presentation Child gave on WGBH based on the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking which she 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 were airing on Cooking Channel as of 2010. As of September 2016, episodes were being rerun on the new Canadian cooking channel Gusto.


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 motifs: Julia's fondness for wine; her distinctive voice; 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: "Julia Child, Bon appétit!"


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.
 Time magazine cover story from November 1966[2]

When the show began, the budget was so low that "volunteers had to be recruited to wash dishes, and the food sometimes had to be auctioned to the audience afterwards to cover expenses."[2]

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."[3] In May 1966, her show won a Primetime Emmy Award for Achievements in Educational Television – Individuals.[4]

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.[5]

The show was produced by Ruth Lockwood and directed by Russell Morash, Russell Fortier, David Griffiths and David B. Atwood.[6] Film composer John Morris wrote the 2nd theme song of The French Chef.


As part of its growing Twitch Creative content, streamed every episode of The French Chef over a four-day period starting on March 15, 2016, to launch its new food channel.[7][8] Twitch reported that almost a million viewers watched the marathon.[9]

List of episodes

Season Episode Subject
S01 (1963) E01 Boeuf Bourguignon (February 11, 1963)
S01 E02 French Onion Soup
S01 E03 Casserole Roast Chicken
S01 E04 The French Omelette
S01 E05 Scallops
S01 E06 Quiche Lorraine
S01 E07 Fruit Tarts
S01 E08 Chicken Breasts and Rice
S01 E09 Vegetables à la Française
S01 E10 Veal Scallops
S01 E11 French Salads- Mayonnaise
S01 E12 Chicken Livers à la Française
S01 E13 Roast Duck à l'Orange
S01 E14 Chocolate Mousse and Caramel Custard
S01 E15 Pâtés
S01 E16 Aspics
S01 E17 Bouillabaise
S01 E18 Lobster à l'Américaine
S01 E19 French Crêpes
S01 E20 French Crêpes II - Suzette
S01 E21 Steaks and Hamburgers
S01 E22 The Potato Show
S01 E23 Soufflé on a Platter
S01 E24 Dinner in a Pot
S01 E25 Pâte à Choux
S02 (1964) E01 Caramel Desserts
S02 E02 Cooking Your Goose
S02 E03 Chestnut Cookery
S02 E04 Bringing in the New Year
S02 E05 Coq au Vin
S02 E06 Cassoulet
S02 E07 Vegetable Adventures
S02 E08 Puff Pastry
S02 E09 More about Puff Pastry
S02 E10 Fish Mousselines
S02 E11 Cake for Company
S02 E12 Artichokes from Top to Bottom
S02 E13 Elegance with Eggs
S02 E14 Cold Soufflés and Bavarian Cream
S02 E15 Case for Salmon
S02 E16 Broccoli and Cauliflower
S02 E17 Veal for a King
S02 E18 The Soup Show
S02 E19 Flaming Soufflé
S02 E20 Small Roast Birds
S03 (1965) E01 Timbales
S03 E02 Fish Filets Sylvestre
S03 E03 Babas au Rhum
S03 E04 Chicken Dinner in Half an Hour
S03 E05 Rognons Sautés and Flambés
S03 E06 The Mushroom Show
S03 E07 Veal Dinner in Half an Hour
S03 E08 Broiled Chicken Plain and Saucy
S03 E09 Lamb Stew is French, Too
S03 E10 Introducing Charlotte Malakoff
S03 E11 Hot Turkey Ballotine
S03 E12 Cold Turkey Galantine
S03 E13 Le Marquis au Chocolate
S03 E14 Vegetables for the Birds
S03 E15 French Tarts, Apple Style
S03 E16 French Jelly Roll
S03 E17 Bûche de Noël
S03 E18 Beef Gets Stewed Two Ways
S03 E19 Ham Dinner in Half an Hour
S03 E20 Croissants
S04 (1966) E01 Chocolate Souffle
S04 E02 Four in Hand Chicken
S04 E03 Brioches
S04 E04 Veal Prince Orloff
S04 E05 Great Beginnings
S04 E06 Turban of Sole
S04 E07 Strawberry Tarts
S04 E08 The Shrimp Show
S04 E09 Salad Fixings
S04 E10 Non-collapsible Cheese Soufflé
S04 E11 Quiches
S04 E12 Fish Dinner in Half an Hour
S04 E13 French Veal Stew
S04 E14 Improvisation
S04 E15 The Empress's Rice
S04 E16 Coquilles St. Jacques
S04 E17 More about Steaks
S04 E18 To Poach a Salmon
S04 E19 Invitation To Lunch
S04 E20 Beef in Red Wine
S05 (1967) E01 Your Own French Onion Soup
S05 E02 Chicken in Cocotte
S05 E03 Queen of Sheba Cake (black & white)
S05 E04 To Poach Sole Filets
S05 E05 Chop Dinner in Half an Hour
S05 E06 Filet of Beef Wellington
S05 E07 Apple Charlotte
S05 E08 More Great Beginnings
S05 E09 Roast Suckling Pig
S05 E10 More about Potatoes
S05 E11 Steak Dinner in Half an Hour
S05 E12 The Endive Show
S05 E13 Saddle of Lamb
S05 E14 Napoleons
S05 E15 Paella à l'Américaine
S05 E16 Dinner Party First Course
S05 E17 Dinner Party Main Course
S05 E18 Dinner Party Meringue Dessert
S05 E19 Soupe au Pistou
S05 E20 Quenelles
S05 E21 New Year
S06 (1968) E01 Génoise Cake
S06 E02 Petits Fours
S06 E03 The Mayonnaise Show
S06 E04 Swordfish Dinner in a Half Hour
S06 E05 Ossobuco
S06 E06 Sweetbreads and Brains
S06 E07 Asparagus from Tip to Butt
S06 E08 Operation Chicken
S06 E09 To Poach a Chicken
S06 E10 Mousses, Bombes and Parfaits
S06 E11 Bourride and Aïoli
S06 E12 To Poach an Egg
S06 E13 Roast Leg of Lamb
S06 E14 Lobster Thermidor
S06 E15 Speaking of Tongues
S06 E16 Pipérade for Lunch
S06 E17 Turban of Sole
S06 E18 Bouillabaisse à la Marseillaise
S06 E19 Napoleon's Chicken
S06 E20 Spinach Twins (color)
S07 (1969) E01 Cake with a Halo
S07 E02 Hamburger Dinner
S07 E03 Salade Niçoise
S07 E04 Turkey Breast Braised
S07 E05 Lasagne à la Française
S07 E06 Waiting for Gigot
S07 E07 How about Lentils
S07 E08 Fish in Monk's Clothing
S07 E09 Gâteau in a Cage
S07 E10 Cheese and Wine Party
S07 E11 Curry Dinner
S07 E12 Apple Desserts
S07 E13 Meat Loaf Masquerade
S07 E14 To Roast a Chicken
S07 E15 Hard Boiled Eggs
S07 E16 Boeuf Bourguignon
S07 E17 Strawberry Soufflé
S07 E18 Spaghetti Flambé
S07 E19 French Bread
S07 E20 More about French Bread
S08 (1970) E01 Vegetable for all Occasions
S08 E02 Pot au Feu
S08 E03 Pizza Variations
S08 E04 Begin with Shrimp
S08 E05 Chocolate Cake
S08 E06 Working with Chocolate
S08 E07 To Press a Duck
S08 E08 Flaky Pastry
S08 E09 Glamour Pudding
S08 E10 The Whole Fish Story
S08 E11 VIP Veal: Poitrine Farcie
S08 E12 Brochettes, Kebabs and Skewers
S08 E13 Rye Bread
S08 E14 Flaming Fish
S08 E15 Summer Salads
S08 E16 Lobster Show
S08 E17 Coq au Vin Alias Chicken Fricassee
S08 E18 Mousse au Chocolat
S08 E19 Quiche Lorraine and Company
S08 E20 To Stuff a Sausage
S09 (1971) E01 The Artichoke
S09 E02 Tartes aux Fruits (Fruit Tarts)
S09 E03 To Roast a Turkey
S09 E04 French Croissants
S09 E05 Soup du Jour
S09 E06 Terrines and Pâtés
S09 E07 Madeleines and Génoise Jelly Roll
S09 E08 To Make a Bûche
S09 E09 Le Cocktail
S09 E10 Gallic Pot Roast
S09 E11 Cheese Soufflé
S09 E12 The Good Loaf
S09 E13 The Hollandaise Family
S09 E14 Tripes à la Mode
S09 E15 Sole Bonne Femme
S09 E16 Orange Bavarian Cream
S09 E17 To Stuff a Cabbage
S09 E18 The Omelette Show
S09 E19 Elegance with Aspic
S09 E20 French Fries
S10 (1972) E01 Ham Transformation
S10 E02 Ice Cream
S10 E03 For Working Guys and Gals
S10 E04 Small Kitchen, Big Ideas
S10 E05 Coffee and Brioche
S10 E06 Brunch for a Bunch
S10 E07 VIP Cake
S10 E08 To Ragoût a Goose
S10 E09 Sudden Company
S10 E10 First Course Sit Down Dinner
S10 E11 Main Course Sit Down Dinner
S10 E12 Grand Finale Sit Down Dinner
S10 E13 Kids Want to Cook
S10 E14 Two-Dollar Banquet
S10 E15 Puff Pastry to Go

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,[10] 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.[11]

DVD releases


  1. J.C. Maçek III (August 13, 2012). "Bless This Mess: Sweeping the Kitchen with Julia Child". PopMatters.
  2. 1 2 "Food: Everyone's in the Kitchen". Time. November 25, 1966. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  3. "Personal Award for The French Chef". Peabody Award. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  4. "Personal Award for The French Chef". Primetime Emmy Award. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  5. "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.
  7. "Julia Child Marathon: Introducing the Official Food Channel with The French Chef!". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  8. "Julia Child is the next PBS star to get a Twitch marathon". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  9. "Food Channel Continues with 24/7 Cooking Programming". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  10. Julia Child (1963). The French Chef Cookbook. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 424.
  11. Julia Child (1970). From Julia Child's Kitchen. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 687.
  12. Lambert, David (August 15, 2012). "The French Chef – Press Release: 'Julia Child's French Classics' DVD, On Her 100th Birthday". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
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