Search - Julia Child - The French Chef on DVD

Julia Child - The French Chef
Julia Child - The French Chef
Actor: Julia Child
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2005     0hr 30min

Cooking legend and cultural icon Julia Child, along with her pioneering public television series, The French Chef, introduced French cuisine to American kitchens. In her passionate and sometimes breathless way, Juli...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Julia Child
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Health, Cooking & Beverages, Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: Wgbh / Pbs
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/26/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 0hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Julia at her best!
A reader | Kirkland, WA USA | 04/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Most episodes are in black and white. It's definitely vintage television. Some shows I can find in her companion book, The French Chef - ISBN 0-345-42542-1; others like The Spinach Twins and French Fries I can't even find the individual recipes in the index let alone the show.

Each DVD contains a couple of printable recipes, and there's also a Julia Biography.

The 18 episodes on the three-disc DVD are:

Starters and Sidedishes
1. The potato show
2. Your own french onion soup
3. Bouilabaisse à la Marseillaise
4. The spinach twins
5. Salad Niçoise
6. French fries

Main Courses
1. B?uf Bourguignon
2. To roast a chicken
3. The lobster show
4. To stuff a sausage
5. Tripes à la mode
6. The whole fish story

Baking, Desserts, and other Classics
1. Queen of sheba cake
2. Cheese and wine party
3. Apple dessert
4. Mouse au chocolat
5. The good loaf
6. The omelette show"
The archetype for all TV Food shows. The great Julia. Buy It
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 02/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"These `The French Chef' DVDs give us 18 episodes of this landmark Julia Child PBS series organized by course rather than by chronology. Among the first disc's side dishes are early (1960s) black and white episodes mixed in with later (1970s) color episodes. These confirm what we have read in Julia Child's biography that the early shows were Herculean feats of improvisation in front of a live TV camera in an improvised Boston (WGBH) studio, where there was no opportunity to edit out mistakes.

These episodes show how Child really set the standard for the TV cooking show and invented almost all the conventions we see nowadays from the likes of Paula Deen, Giada DeLaurentiis, and Emeril Lagasse (in his no-audience `Essence of Emeril' shows). It also shows where show creators such as Alton Brown and Rachael Ray have created great shows primarily by breaking out of Julia Child's prototype.

While the contemporary TV culinarians still follow Julia's lead, it is amazing to see how so many of Julia's shows still do a better job with their subject. For starters, you get the full 30 minutes of material per episode. You don't get 22 minutes of material with three interruptions for commercials and promotions. You also get complete shows on a single dish, albeit relatively complicated dishes like the classic `Salade Nicoise'. After four years of watching the Food Network virtually on a daily basis, I recall no show, even from the more classicly oriented hosts such as Martha Stewart or Ina Garten, dealing with a complete composed salad.

The `Salade Nicoise' is composed of at least three major and two or three minor tasks. Making the potato salad alone takes practically half the show. And, actually seeing how Miss Julia composes the final presentation is easily worth anything from Ina or Martha.

In contrast, the modern 22 minute culinary shows are often used to demonstrate three or even four different dishes, which leaves very little room for expounding on less common techniques. If nothing else, the art of the swapout has been mastered to the point where one may be surprised to see any real cookng at all. This is one reason why I respect Rachael Ray's demonstrations, as she is clearly always working in real time.

One possible negative aspect of this show is seen on some episodes where Miss Julia gives us the traditional French method which has really been discarded by almost all modern chefs. One example which comes to mind is on her demonstration of trussing a roasting chicken. Every modern American writer I have seen, including even James Beard from 30 years ago, does not bother trussing a chicken in any way. They simply tuck the wing tips under the body and may suggest tenting the breast with aluminum foil or draping it with bacon so it does not become too well done while the slower cooking dark meat finishes.

Even this show, however, has its virtues, as when Julia shows us how to detect when a bird has gone past its prime by checking the bone on the tip of the breast. If it is fully bony, the bird is probably well over a year old. If it is still soft, the bird is still between 9 and 12 months old. I was also pleased to see, on this episode, exactly how the wishbone is extracted and was reassured to see that even so expert a cook as Ms. Julia Child had some difficulty in doing it neatly.

In short, Julia Child had no inhibitions against doing messy kitchen tasks.

If you are a Food Network junkie, or just a foodie, you can't go wrong by acquiring these Disks.
A MUST-HAVE for anyone who loves to cook!
Christine Murphy | Malden, MA United States | 08/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the many things that I love about Julia is that she was a REAL person. She made mistakes, and they were never edited out. That alone made her shows and recipes much less intimidating for the average home cook to try.

This DVD set is such a treat, and it's about time PBS got off their bums and released these shows! My only gripe (and it's a VERY minor one) is that there is no *Play All* have to play one episode at a time, then it goes back to the menu, and you have to reach for the clicker again. Otherwise, this is a wonderful set.

I hope that this sells very well, so that PBS will want to release more sets. I know that I would buy every single one of them!"
Dinner and a Show
G. Lasswell | Spring, Texas | 03/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I knew I would love learning from Julia's shows and see lots of techniques but I had no idea how hilarious these shows are. Julia has a dry humor and a delightful way of handling mishaps but the burned french onion soup and the tart that flipped out of the pan and onto the counter were the best!! No one on the food network would let you see how to do this part of cooking. I'm too young to have seen the shows first hand so there are all new to me. Julia said in an interview once that she always considered herself a cooking teacher and she is. The dish being prepared is just the vehicle to teach about everything from how to shop for food to how important it is to keep your area clean and tidy. And did you know that apples must be stirred with a "purple spoon?" Everything that I make from these DVDs is great and has become a kitchen regular. I recommend them for entertainment, education and a good laugh."