A 1962 appearance on a book review show on the National Educational Television (NET) station of Boston, WGBH, led to the inception of [Julia Child’s] first television cooking show after viewers enjoyed her demonstration of how to cook an omelette. The French Chef had its debut on February 11, 1963, on WGBH and was immediately successful. The show ran nationally for ten years and won Peabody and Emmy Awards, including the first Emmy award for an educational program. Though she was not the first television cook, Child was the most widely seen. She attracted the broadest audience with her cheery enthusiasm, distinctively charming warbly voice, and non-patronizing and unaffected manner.

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Nora Mitchell

In 2011, someone posted asking about the theme music for the show. It is true that John Morris wrote the better known music for the later French Chef series. But I want to know who did the first two themes used in the series’ early days. I can’t find references to them anywhere, and music isn’t credited in the series itself. Does anyone know who wrote those two pieces?

Alex Pirie

Julia was the best person ever to work with! I was on the crew driving the mobile unit and working as floor manager when the black and white series was done at Cambridge Electric and my back still aches when I remember hauling the TK-60’s and heavy coils of camera cable up the exterior fire escape on snowy January mornings. The reward of course, was that we did two shows a day and got to eat everything! I had a “sweat” cue card to remind Julia to wipe her brow. It drove fastidious Ruth nuts that Julia would wipe off… Read more »

Dave Alvarez

(Quote from Alex Pirie) “We asked Julia if she would demonstrate video tape editing and she happily set up shop in master control and with a cleaver, rolling pin and chewing gum ad libbed the greatest demonstration ever. …I have no idea if the tape of that show is still exists?” RESPONSE: Well somewhat good news for you. As an editor in the early 1980’s an engineer gave me a copy of this Great Julia Child Moment to become one of my favorites. In black and white, Julia introduces her co-host as a Mr. John Glitch. She pulls out a… Read more »

Lo Hartnett

When Fund Raising was moved to the garage stalls at 110 Western Ave — 1974-ish — our office was a big open area with work spaces made up of file cabinets and formica counter tops. Julia shared this area with us. We delighted when she, Avis, and Ruth Lockwood would come in to setup show menus and answer viewer mail. We didn’t get much work done on those days, and there is one a few of us remember vividly. The conversation between Avis and Julia went something like this. AD: Oh, here’s a good question Julia: ‘My steel (knife sharpening… Read more »

Dick Hiner

Believe it or not, I was the first to direct a program with Julia Child, although I was not aware at the time that I was in the presence of a legend. It was early 1962 and we were operating out of the Catholic TV Center. I was still a BU intern and in addition to operating master control I was assigned as director for two small 15-minute live shows. One of the shows was a book review program titled, I’ve Been Reading. The set consisted of a riser, two chairs, a coffee table and a music stand on which… Read more »

Virginia Cizik

Mr. Hiner, do you know who wrote the theme for Julia Child’s television show?

Dick Hiner

Dear Virginia,

The composers name was John Morris. Don’t know much about him.
Hope this helps.

Dick Hiner

Steve Gilford

Because I lived on Beacon Hill, (in an apartment I’d taken over from Don Hallock), it was always a temptation to ride my motorcycle to work, even during a Boston winter. If Storrow Drive was free of snow and ice, I could put up with the ten or fifteen minutes of windy cold rather than waiting an equal amount of time on the windy Charles Street subway platform and Central Square bus station – and I could do it on my schedule. There was a problem in winter, though. My bike, a BMW twin of the type called “Boxer”, had… Read more »