Gourmess in the News, Again!

So fun to read this -- in my hometown paper!

The Derrick.
The News Herald 

2012-08-11 / Front Page

Franklin grad to appear on ‘The Chew’ tribute to chef Child

Staff writer
Julie Powell Christopher, a Utica native, will appear on a special episode of "The Chew" on ABC Wednesday dedicated to Julia Child. Christopher was one of three people from the United States chosen to be on the episode to showcase her passion and talent for cooking as well as honoring Child, her inspiration.

A Utica native now working in New York City will appear on the ABC daytime talk show “The Chew” on Wednesday, where she will showcase her passion and talent for cooking on a special episode.
Julie Christopher, formerly Julie Powell, is a 1997 Franklin High School graduate and the daughter of Bill and Pat Powell of Utica.
Christopher now resides in Glen Ridge, N.J., and she works in New York City in marketing at the Simon & Schuster publishing company.
Christopher said she loves her job, but that her real passion has always been cooking.
“I moved out to New Jersey about 14 years ago and am working in book publishing,” Christopher said. “About two years ago, I realized I should have gone to culinary school instead and felt the urge to make cooking more than a hobby.”
Christopher didn’t think it was feasible to pursue a new career in cooking, so she took her hobby to the next level by following in the footsteps of one of her biggest inspirations, Julia Child.
Child was an American chef, author and television personality, noted for introducing French cuisine to the American public.
“I decided to buy the French Culinary Institute textbook and I’d come home from work and spend hours in the kitchen working through it,” Christopher said. “My husband would wait until 11 p.m to have dinner.”
From February through August 2010, Christopher completed about 250 recipes and finished the textbook on the day that would have been Child’s 98th birthday.
When Christopher saw that “The Chew” was dedicating an episode to honor Child on the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday, Christopher responded to their call to find the ultimate Julia Child fan.
“I thought, ‘Why not?’ I taught myself French cooking; she did French cooking and I’m a huge fan,” Christopher said.
“The Chew” is centered on food-related and lifestyle topics and is hosted by Mario Batali and Michael Symon of “Iron Chef America,” Carla Hall of “Top Chef,” Clinton Kelly of “What Not to Wear” and Daphne Oz, an author and wellness enthusiast.
After several emails, phone calls and interviews, Christopher was chosen as one of three people from across the U.S. to appear on Wednesday’s show, which airs at 1 p.m.
“It was so much fun to be part of it,” Christopher said. “It was fun to see how it was filmed and see the crew working.”
The three contestants each brought a signature Child dish, and Christopher made ratatouille.
“It’s a great example of Julia Child making French cuisine because it’s accessible,” Christopher said. “This is the perfect time of year to make it, too, since you use zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes.”
Also on the episode, Christopher and the other contestants talked about why Child was an inspiration to them and did an impression of Child’s famous “Bon appetit!” phrase.
The winner, who will be announced on the show, got to cook their dish with Symon.
Christopher’s parents and in-laws attended the taping of the episode, and Pat Powell was gushing with pride.
“I think it’s an awesome opportunity,” Powell said. “She has been working on this on the side from her Simon & Schuster position because of her passion for cooking. We were so, so proud of her. She just was professional.”
In another interesting relation to Child, Christopher’s maiden name, Julie Powell, is the same as the author who wrote “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” that was made into the 2009 movie “Julie & Julia” that starred Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
Christopher hopes to keep making cooking a prominent part of her life.
“I keep thinking, ‘What’s next? How can I make this a bigger part of my life?’ And I’m not sure what that’s going to be,” she said.
Christopher blogs about her cooking experiences and shares recipes at http://www.petitegourmess.com.