Mastering the Art of Power Couples: Julia and Paul Child
5:25AM Mar 7, 2022
If you're feeling hungry for a love today we're going to talk about fame chef Julia Child who attributes much of her success to her husband Paul. Together they created a very untraditional, incredibly affectionate marriage and love story. So pull up a chair and whet your appetites were servants and fresh hot romance today.
Hi, I'm Sarah Wendell.
Hi, I'm Alicia. I welcome to lovestruck daily where we deliver a love story every day right into your ears.
I'm in love with love with you. I don't think that there is a better combination and food and love. Let's be real. Yeah. And food is definitely one of the major forms of communicating affection in my household. Oh mine to it is one of Adam's very favorite things to do to make me dinner and then just say dinner's ready, and I come in and there's just glorious food and a glass of wine. He's like, sit down and enjoy your meal. It's the most loveliest thing. But I have brought you something we are too far away from you to bring you food, but I've brought your food. Where's How about that?
Oh, it's just as good, I guess.
I mean, it'll do for now. I have a quiz here and we will link this in the show notes. So you too can take this quiz. This is which love language you speak from our friends in quizzes at BuzzFeed. Are you ready? Yeah, let's go. Alright, you must choose a form of chocolate From the following choices chocolate syrup, a box of chocolates, chocolate fortune cookies, homemade fudge, or a chocolate truffle making kit?
Ooh, interesting. Um, well, I'm lazy so the kid is.
Ah, let's do a box of chocolates. Box of Chocolates. Okay. All right. Have you ever been to a state fair? I have not. Okay, well, it's time to get ready. Choose a deep fried snack. Oh my goodness. Deep fried oreos, which I've had deep fried watermelon, which I've had deep fried Pop Tarts again. I have had deep fried twinkies. I have had a deep fried cheeseburger.
These all sound disgusting. I have to say I've had a deep fried Snickers in Scotland and I thought or define Mars bar and Scotland and I thought it was delicious. But in honor of that, I guess let's go with deep fried oreos because it's the closest thing,
good choice. Which of these things would make you feel the greatest? The person you're dating complimenting a meal that you cooked. The person that you're dating, cooking a meal for you? The person you're dating, bringing you food, cooking a meal with the person you like or love, or incorporating food into the bedroom?
That's like a sexy option. So let's say the person you're dating cooking a meal for you.
I like that choice. Okay, your result is acts of service. I knew it you you know it. Service. You don't necessarily want material thing. I mean, I do someone making an effort to do something for you. That's your errand. Yeah, help them with a chore. If a person is eager to do things for you and make your life easier, that really means a lot to you. That's true.
Yeah. I mean, I like things. I like gifts as well. Like I like material things. But I also very much appreciate especially as they get older, someone doing something for me. It's really nice.
Okay, now those dos? Well, I know that you have brought me a love story about one of the most famous chefs in American cooking history. Yeah, absolutely.
But also about the romantic relationship behind their fame. Yeah, and how it shifted over the years. I cannot wait to hear everything. Tell me all about it.
So today we're going to talk about Julia Child's American cooking teacher, author and TV host. And her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, published in 1961 brought French cooking to the United States in sort of a mainstream way. And in addition to her, we're also going to be talking about the incredibly romantic relationship she had with her husband Paul, that formed the foundation for all the work she accomplished. Pauline Julia met working at the Office of Strategic Services during World War Two which was a government civil servant branch on an assignment in Sri Lanka. Julia grew up in my neighborhood right now Pasadena, California, in a very wealthy family, and she turned down a marriage proposal from Harrison Chandler's son of the LA Times publisher. And her family was not very pleased about this year, but she was she was very strong headed, and she wanted to do what she wanted to do. Julia had been rejected from joining the woman's Army Corps for being too tall at six two.
What's that? Like? Do you think that is?
What do you think that is? My idea, Sarah. Sarah, we we enjoy the air down here. I don't know what it's like up there,
I'm perpetually at sea level no matter what altitude I'm at. So Paul,
oh and Julia, were assigned to various secret projects. In their work for the Office of Strategic Services. He designed a secret war room for Mountbatten. She had to write a recipe for a shark repellent for reasons that are still shrouded in mystery as you do, which I like. I don't even know what that entails up, but fine. I'm gonna guess he started out as I'm gonna guess
that involves Axe body spray, but that is only a guess.
They start out as friends because Paul thinks that Julie's not a very serious person. And in letters to his brother in the early years, he described her as and this kind of hurts me, and extremely sloppy thinker within unbecoming blond mustache, who is unable to sustain ideas for a long you know what, I hope she found these letters in her lifetime. Gave him hell for that.
Honestly, do not mess with a woman who knows how to repel sharks.
So Paul's making himself extremely repellent my my mind.
But guess what they have in common food. So they go to lunches, food markets when they're on break from the OSS. And at some point over their shared lunches and food markets. They fall in love. Oh, I know. And after getting married, they moved to Paris for one of Paul's work assignments. Now, I don't know if you've seen the movie Julie and Julia. And Meryl Streep is like charming, but one of the scenes where it's very romantic. Stanley Tucci plays her husband, he should play all of our husbands Say no more. That's fine. Yeah, at any at any age. I would, I would like Stanley Tucci to be my husband. So he is talking at a dinner party that they're hosting. And he says, you know, he saw her and you know, their hazmat or whatever, and, but she was the bread to his butter. It's such a romantic scene. I don't know if that really happened. But I really hope it did for her.
He always heard that at least sang she had a blond mustache and sloppy thinking. After
getting married, they moved to Paris for one of Paul's work assignments. And before this, Julia was more than happy to be like a normal for the times housewife. And she even said like, I think the role of a woman is to be married to a nice man enjoy her home making while she'll eat those words. In Paris, Paul orders Julia, the fateful French meal that sets her off to become one of the most celebrated chefs of all time. And her grand nephew later said, I often compare the relationship to my fair lady where she's the willing student, like Eliza Doolittle, and he's a sophisticated older man who tutors are in culture and art and politics. Paul was the leader of the relationship during the first half. And when he retired, everything flipped. It was very intentional. He described himself as the iceberg beneath the water, where you just see the tip, but he's playing this massive role as the ballast, and you can't have one without the other. So he's retired. She's starting this cooking journey. And he's also a photographer. So he's documented their time in France together. You know, he's taking very incredible photos of her. She's quite his muse. And he's very happy to play second fiddle as she enters the stage of her life where she is the bigger figure. And on her show, he could often be found holding cue cards off screen to help her like, wipe your brow or don't forget the mushrooms don't
drop the turkey in the garbage which once
and she she hadn't. She admitted that in the very beginning of their relationship. She was a little bit obtuse and sheltered. And he really taught her about the world and culture. And in the second half of their marriage, she found her way and embraced her calling. And I'm so glad, like, we've talked about love letters so much on the show. I we got to start writing love letters to each other because they also share a very sweet correspondence throughout their marriage. And they're incredibly affectionate and hot for each other throughout their marriage. And he writes her like sonnets and everything and in the French chef cookbook, Julia thanked him like this. Paul child, the man who was always there Porter, dishwasher official photographer, mushroom dicer and onion chopper editor, illustrator manager, taster idea, man, resident poet and husband. Oh, I mean, obviously, we don't know all the intricacies of their relationship, but at least in the ways that they appreciate each other very publicly. I think there's a lot to be learned from that.
Especially the idea that you don't always have one career in your life. Sometimes you have several. Sometimes you have many cycles of your life. She went from making shark repellent to being a television star. Her kitchen is in the Smithsonian. You can go and see is it really? Yes, her kitchen is in the Smithsonian Museum. I see. No, I
did not know that. That's amazing.
He helped fit it to her height because the counters needed to be raised for her to them to be comfortable. because as we've noticed, as as you mentioned, she's very tall. We did we do not know what that was like, but she was very tall. And he made sure that the counters were the right height for her to work at. And you can see her kitchen in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.
Why is it that like a relationship where there's support and communication and not a lot of ego, like why is that so unusual? Well, like it feels,
would you like me to tell you maybe,
yeah, tell me because it's
boring. Yeah, kind of relationship that I want. That's the kind of relationship that I deliberately cultivate. I want my home and my marriage to be very tranquil and welcoming. But if you're thinking about media portrayals, especially Western media thrives on conflict, because equanimity and happiness in the long term doesn't make for good salacious television, but it makes for an absolutely freakin wonderful life.
We also value like a tranquil, calm household, but I didn't really have that growing up. So it's nice to have now new new new. Yeah, I mean, like chi is always one thing that I have to say when we first started dating. I always felt like the burden on cooking and like kitchen stuff was on me. And I basically like kind of verbalize as much because when I met him, he had like four things in his fridge at all times. And I don't know when it started to shift like he got really into watching like MasterChef. Oh, that's adorable. Yeah. Like we got a masterclass subscription. So he watches like Gordon Ramsay's videos on there and stuff. And he started, like cooking a lot to the point where now he makes almost all of our meals. It's quite nice to have that shift in in a relationship.
Oh, I agree. I mean, we we divide our cooking very seasonally, because we now have a combination grill smoker, and from like, summated, it gets warm enough. Sometimes even in the winter, he will grill and smoke, and it's so good. And then come winter. Everything's in the crock pot, the Instant Pot, and that's my department. But I love that you guys have shared this, this this burden that you know, it wins when cooking becomes a chore. It's not fun. And for you to share it is really lovely.
But I do think you're right, I think media representations of relationships, or just like the idea, like you have to fight like you have to, you have to always be in contention with each other and you have to not listen to each other is it's just something that's so ingrained in society.
yeah, do you have a love to go mine is that I think it's okay to check your ego at the door in a relationship. I think it's perfectly fine to say, You know what, sometimes you're going to be better at things and sometimes I'm going to be better at things. I think that it's really important to tell your partner what they're good at.
I was gonna say the exact same thing. We're on the same line. I really was, I was gonna say check your ego at the door. And one thing I say a lot about my kids is that I'm their biggest fan, which they hate because teenagers and it's super extra. And they're like, oh my god, mom. But I am also always team Adam, and he has always team Sarah. And when something happens for me professionally, he's really excited. And it doesn't diminish him to celebrate me and vice versa. Yeah, I completely agree.
And tell your person like oh, wow, you're really good at this. Yeah. Like this is something that you are much better at than me. And that is good. Like if you're better at cooking than me and you're taking over the chores and you enjoy it. Thank you because that is so good. And that is one thing we are very, we take care to say if one of us has cooked a meal for the other one, even if it's every day just to say thank you so much. That was so nice. This is so good.
Oh yes. Always say thank you for dinner. Well, I want to know well first of all, let's be real. Alicia, I want to know your favorite recipe. I mean, you should just send it to us because we're always hungry and we like talking about food and you know we're short people so we need more fuel. That's that's the myth I'm sticking to. That's a good myth. And if you would like to send us your love story, your favorite recipe your favorite story about Julia Child email us at lovestruck daily at frolic dot media. If you have any questions or thoughts or suggestions, that's where you can contact us. You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter at lovestruck daily for extra content. Definitely check out the Instagram post for this episode because there is a super cute Valentine between Julia Child and her husband. You can leave a review, subscribe and spread the word about the show. Every day every way we would love for you to bring more love and joy into other people's earbuds. Our researcher is Jesse Epstein. Our editor is Jen Jacobs. We are produced by Abigail steckler and little Scorpion studios and Gillian Davis with executive producer frolic media. This is an I Heart Radio Podcast and of course above all we wish you a very happy and delicious Ever After that I'm in love with you I'm in love with you