On Wednesday, HBO Max announced that "Julia," the story of titular chef Julia Child starring Sarah Lancashire and David Hyde Pierce, would be returning for a second season.
"Julia Child tends to make people happy," said executive producers Chris Keyser and Daniel Goldfarb in a statement. "In a bleak world, she is a welcome balm. Making this show has done the same for us. Working with our cast — with Sarah and David — our production team, writers, directors and editors, who have become our friends, makes us happy."
However, the first season of the newly-beloved show concludes on May 5, leaving fans of the series facing a bit of a wait before the next batch of episodes are fully-baked (the press release did not indicate a release date for season two). Thankfully, there are a lot of other ways to get your fill of Julia Child thanks to an enduring love of the French Chef that has resulted in a lot of recent projects.
Here are our tips on what to eat, watch and read while waiting for Season 2 of "Julia" to arrive.
What to eat
Get in touch with your inner Julia Child by bringing some of her most well-known recipes into the kitchen. Of course you could take a stab at some of her more complicated multistep stunners, like canard a l'orange or her souffle, I'm a big fan of her more simple recipes. Try vichyssoise, Child's favorite soup (which also tells a lot about her philosophy on cooking), or her simple roast chicken.
Queen of Sheba cake from "Julia" (Seacia Pavao / HBO Max)
Have a sweet tooth? Perhaps you remember the appearance of Child's Queen of Sheba cake in the first episode of "Julia." Believe me when I tell you that cake is simple enough for anyone to make, even a kid. As Salon's Melanie McFarland wrote in her review of the series, "The recipe's simplicity also is why I could make that cake in grade school, having copied down the ingredients from a recording of 'The French Chef.'"
What to watch
Speaking of "The French Chef," do give it a watch while waiting for "Julia" to return. Many of the episodes are posted to YouTube and provide both really delightful cooking instruction, as well as context for the series. If you're looking for additional insight into Child's life, I'd definitely recommend checking out the 2021 documentary film "JULIA." Co-directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, this film is packed with never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives and gorgeous cinematography to trace Child's decades-long journey to revolutionize the world of food.
Once you've watched it, here is a conversation with West and Cohen about Julia's feminist marriage to Paul Child, how Child's views on homosexuality evolved during her lifetime and the lengths they went to meticulously replicate Child's iconic kitchen.
Host Antonia Lofaso wathces LED Julia Child on the TV, as seen on The Julia Child Challenge (Photo courtesy of the Food Network)On that note — here is a Salon-exclusive video about how the creators of "Julia," the series, recreated that same kitchen, detail-by-detail.
If you're looking for something a little less studious, flip over to discovery + to catch up on "The Julia Challenge." Julie Powell, the author of the hit blog-turned-book-turned-movie "Julie and Julia," recapped the competition series for us.
What to read
There are many, many books about the life of Julia Child, but one that I really enjoyed recently was "Warming Up Julia Child: The Remarkable Figures Who Shaped a Legend." Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, this book peels back the curtain on an unexplored part of Julia Child's life — the formidable team of six with whom she collaborated to launch her legendary career.
I spoke with her approach to researching this book, Julia Child's unexpected disdain for (certain types of) television and how destiny led her to write a previously underexplored story about pop culture's favorite chef.
Read more stories about Julia Child:
- A pegboard wall DIY that would make Julia Child proud
- What Julia Child's favorite soup recipe teaches us about the art of cooking
- Julia and Paul Child's marriage was "a true feminist love story," directors of "Julia" doc say
- Recipe for success: Julie Powell was a depressed temp whose life changed forever after she embarked on a year-long Julia Child cook-a-thon