Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!

Today would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday!

(c) Time magazine, Everett
In honor of this special day, I am keeping my kitchen dark...a moment of silence for Julia.

Julia and I never met, but I feel like we would have been great friends. From our first names to our love of all things French -- and our culinary quirks -- we could have made a pretty interesting and comical team. I so admire her gumption and her devotion to cookery.

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” -- Julia Child

Julia, of course, inspired me to cook my way through the French Culinary Institutes's textbook by my 32nd birthday. I don't know why I didn't realize this at the time (probably because I was exhausted and dazed and in awe of making it to the end earlier than planned), but I actually finished my goal on what would have been Julia's 98th birthday. How neat is that? A special day made even more special!

Julia Child's dedication and enthusiasm, and the way she dealt with kitchen mishaps or recipes that didn't quite turn out as planned have inspired me to be the best, most confident Gourmess I can be. Yes, I'm going to make mistakes -- but there can still be joy in learning from them. And what could be sweeter than that?

Below are some of my favorite Julia facts, quotes, quips and clips. Enjoy them, and I hope you'll crack open a bottle of wine--er, gin, and toast the 100th birthday of Julia Child, The French Chef, with a loud and boisterous, BON APPÉTIT!

1) Legend has it that when a sommelier asked Julia to describe her favorite wine, she replied, "Gin."

2) Julia on French Cooking: “The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit.”

3) Don't be afraid to improvise!  Julia Child on David Letterman, 1987 (Courtesy of YouTube)

4) One of my favorites.  Julia Child's "The French Chef" (Courtesy of YouTube)

5) Julia on marriage: "The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time." True for Julia and Paul, and absolutely true for Julie and "Chris."

6) Julia's kitchen wisdom: “I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”

7)"We don't care about nutrients, we care about taste." Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home (Courtesy of YouTube)

8) Julia on dieting: “The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.”

9) A favorite Julia quote: "Tears mess up your makeup."

10) Julia on making an entrance: "Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake."

And, speaking of making an entrance, you can see my television debut on today's "Julia's 100th Birthday Party" episode on ABC's The Chew!

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”  -- Julia Child
A very Petite Gourmess, age 15 mos.
Thanks, Julia. We'll do our best.
Bon anniversaire. Vous nous manquez.