Julia Child changed the world of cooking with her approachable take on French cuisine. Her world-renowned TV programs were unedited, giving viewers access to some of the messy mistakes that are often inevitable when cooking. A layer cake that falls apart, a pancake that doesn’t flip, an omelet gone rogue—she brushed each one off with grace and humor. As she put it, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
Words of wisdom like these made her not only a wonderful teacher in the kitchen, but also a source of profound life lessons. And she served each with a dose of humor. So grab a stick of butter and put on your pearl necklace. Here are some of our favorite Julia Child quotes.
1. “I was 32 when I started cooking. Up until then, I just ate.”
Julia Child famously didn’t learn how to cook until her 30s, proving that it’s never too late to learn something new. Also, if you just want to eat, that’s OK, too.
2. “A party without cake is just a meeting.”
Ain’t that the truth? If you ever invite us to a party without a cake, consider yourself unfriended. And pie will not do.
3. “I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”
Her TV show began before the feminist movement, making this quote even more profound. Recommending power tools to housewives in the 1960s? We love it!
4. “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
Have you ever gone to dinner with a person on a diet? Not fun.
5. “It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions.”
According to Child, the flavor of onions blends perfectly into any dish (except dessert). Would civilization turn to chaos without onions? We don’t want to find out.
6. “With enough butter, anything is good.”
Her love of butter went against the mainstream attitude at the time. Most feared that butter would raise their cholesterol. Child was once again ahead of her time. Experts now advise that it’s fine in moderation (like pretty much everything!).
7. “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Her passion for cooking made her an icon, and it all started as a hobby while she lived in France. She said you can never learn enough about the things you love.
8. “Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”
In a world of perfectly polished social media posts, a little imperfection is more than refreshing. She wasn’t afraid of making mistakes and always taught us to learn from them.
9. “I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food…”
Feeling intimidated by a recipe? Make like Julia and pour a glass of wine (or two!).
10. “Just speak very loudly and quickly, and state your position with utter conviction, as the French do, and you’ll have a marvelous time!”
In other words, fake it ’til you make it. Doesn’t this make you want to throw on an apron and start ordering people around the kitchen? Add the before-mentioned wine and cake, and this does indeed sound like a marvelous time.