Open main menu

The French Chef is a television cooking show created and hosted by Julia Child,[1] produced and broadcast by WGBH, the public television station in Boston, Massachusetts, from February 2, 1963 to January 14, 1973. It was one of the first cooking shows on American television.

The French Chef
StarringJulia Child
Country of originUnited States
Running time28 minutes 46 seconds
Original networkWGBH (producer)
NET (1963-1970)
PBS (1970-1973)
Original releaseFebruary 2, 1963 –
January 14, 1973
Gusto TV
(December 2013–present)
Create (TV network)

The show grew out of a special presentation Child gave on WGBH based on the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking which she co-authored. The French Chef was produced from 1963 to 1973 by WGBH for National Educational Television (and later for PBS). Reruns continued on PBS until 1989, and were airing on Cooking Channel as of 2010. As of September 2016, episodes were being rerun on the new Canadian cooking channel Gusto. As recent as March, 2017, reruns of the show were also seen on the American Public Television Create channel.



The French Chef introduced French cooking to the United States at a time when it was considered expensive restaurant fare, not suitable for home cooking.[citation needed] Child emphasized fresh and, at the time, unusual ingredients. All of the recipes used on The French Chef had originally appeared in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but for the show, Child chose mostly the more domestic recipes from the book,[citation needed] although such showpieces as Beef Wellington, various sorts of soufflé, and some ambitious pastries also made it into the mix if they seemed within the reach of a home cook without staff.

The show was done live-to-videotape from start to finish, leaving little room for mistakes. The resulting occasional accidents became a popular trademark of Child's on air presence, used as "teachable moments" to encourage viewers to relax about the task's demands.

Certain elements became motifs: Julia's fondness for wine; her distinctive voice; her staunch defense of the use of butter (with margarine invariably referred to as "that other spread") and cream; her standard issue "impeccably clean towel"; and her closing line at the end of every show: "This is Julia Child, Bon appétit!"


When the show began, the budget was so low that "volunteers had to be recruited to wash dishes, and the food sometimes had to be auctioned to the audience afterwards to cover expenses."[2]

In 1964 Child received a Peabody Award, crediting her for doing "more than show us how good cooking is achieved; by her delightful demonstrations she has brought the pleasures of good living into many American homes."[3] In May 1966, her show won a Primetime Emmy Award for Achievements in Educational Television – Individuals.[4]

The August 27, 1968 episode of The French Chef (rerun from an episode sometime in 1965) ended with the unexpected collapse of an Apple Charlotte.

The October 31, 1971 episode of The French Chef (on its ninth anniversary) was the first U.S. television show to be captioned for deaf viewers.[5]

The show was produced by Ruth Lockwood and directed by Russell Morash, Russell Fortier, David Griffiths and David B. Atwood.[6] Film composer John Morris wrote the 2nd theme song of The French Chef.


As part of its growing Twitch Creative content, streamed every episode of The French Chef over a four-day period starting on March 15, 2016, to launch its new food channel.[7][8] Twitch reported that almost a million viewers watched the marathon.[9]

List of episodesEdit

Season Episode Subject Air Date
Pilot (1962) Pilot The French Omelet September 1, 1962 [10]
Pilot (1962) Pilot Coq au Vin September 8, 1962 [11]
Pilot (1962) Pilot Onion Soup September 15, 1962 [12]
S01 (1963) E01 Boeuf Bourguignon February 2, 1963
S01 E02 French Onion Soup February 9, 1963
S01 E03 Casserole Roast Chicken February 16, 1963
S01 E04 The French Omelette February 23, 1963
S01 E05 Scallops March 2, 1963
S01 E06 Quiche Lorraine March 9, 1963
S01 E07 Fruit Tarts March 16, 1963
S01 E08 Chicken Breasts and Rice March 23, 1963
S01 E09 Vegetables à la Française March 30, 1963
S01 E10 Veal Scallops April 6, 1963
S01 E11 French Salads- Mayonnaise April 13, 1963
S01 E12 Chicken Livers à la Française April 20, 1963
S01 E13 Roast Duck à l'Orange April 27, 1963
S01 E14 Chocolate Mousse and Caramel Custard May 4, 1963
S01 E15 Pâtés May 11, 1963
S01 E16 Aspics May 18, 1963
S01 E17 Bouillabaise May 25, 1963
S01 E18 Lobster à l'Américaine June 1, 1963
S01 E19 French Crêpes June 8, 1963
S01 E20 French Crêpes II - Suzette June 15, 1963
S01 E21 Steaks and Hamburgers June 22, 1963
S01 E22 The Potato Show June 29, 1963
S01 E23 Soufflé on a Platter July 6, 1963
S01 E24 Dinner in a Pot July 13, 1963
S01 E25 Pâte à Choux July 20, 1963
S02 (1963-64) E01 Caramel Desserts November 30, 1963
S02 E02 Cooking Your Goose December 7, 1963
S02 E03 Chestnut Cookery December 14, 1963
S02 E04 Bringing in the New Year December 21, 1963
S02 E05 Coq au Vin January 1, 1964
S02 E06 Cassoulet January 8, 1964
S02 E07 Vegetable Adventures January 15, 1964
S02 E08 Puff Pastry January 22, 1964
S02 E09 More about Puff Pastry January 29, 1964
S02 E10 Fish Mousselines February 5, 1964
S02 E11 Cake for Company February 12, 1964
S02 E12 Artichokes from Top to Bottom February 19, 1964
S02 E13 Elegance with Eggs February 26, 1964
S02 E14 Cold Soufflés and Bavarian Cream March 4, 1964
S02 E15 Case for Salmon March 11, 1964
S02 E16 Broccoli and Cauliflower March 18, 1964
S02 E17 Veal for a King March 25, 1964
S02 E18 The Soup Show April 1, 1964
S02 E19 Flaming Soufflé April 8, 1964
S02 E20 Small Roast Birds April 15, 1964
S03 (1964-65) E01 Timbales April 22, 1964
S03 E02 Fish Filets Sylvestre October 28, 1964
S03 E03 Babas au Rhum November 4, 1964
S03 E04 Chicken Dinner in Half an Hour November 11, 1964
S03 E05 Rognons Sautés and Flambés December 2, 1964
S03 E06 The Mushroom Show December 9, 1964
S03 E07 Veal Dinner in Half an Hour December 16, 1964
S03 E08 Broiled Chicken Plain and Saucy December 23, 1964
S03 E09 Lamb Stew is French, Too January 6, 1965
S03 E10 Introducing Charlotte Malakoff January 13, 1965
S03 E11 Hot Turkey Ballotine January 20, 1965
S03 E12 Cold Turkey Galantine January 27, 1965
S03 E13 Le Marquis au Chocolate February 3, 1965
S03 E14 Vegetables for the Birds February 10, 1965
S03 E15 French Tarts, Apple Style February 17, 1965
S03 E16 French Jelly Roll February 24, 1965
S03 E17 Bûche de Noël March 3, 1965
S03 E18 Beef Gets Stewed Two Ways March 10, 1965
S03 E19 Ham Dinner in Half an Hour March 17, 1965
S03 E20 Croissants March 24, 1965
S04 (1965) E01 Chocolate Souffle March 31, 1965
S04 E02 Four in Hand Chicken April 7, 1965
S04 E03 Brioches April 14, 1965
S04 E04 Veal Prince Orloff April 21, 1965
S04 E05 Great Beginnings April 28, 1965
S04 E06 Turban of Sole May 5, 1965
S04 E07 Strawberry Tarts May 12, 1965
S04 E08 The Shrimp Show May 19, 1965
S04 E09 Salad Fixings May 26, 1965
S04 E10 Non-collapsible Cheese Soufflé June 2, 1965
S04 E11 Quiches June 9, 1965
S04 E12 Fish Dinner in Half an Hour June 16, 1965
S04 E13 French Veal Stew June 23, 1965
S04 E14 Improvisation June 30, 1965
S04 E15 The Empress's Rice July 7, 1965
S04 E16 Coquilles St. Jacques July 14, 1965
S04 E17 More about Steaks July 21, 1965
S04 E18 To Poach a Salmon July 28, 1965
S04 E19 Invitation To Lunch August 4, 1965
S04 E20 Beef in Red Wine November 17, 1965
S05 (1965-66) E01 Your Own French Onion Soup November 24, 1965
S05 E02 Chicken in Cocotte December 11, 1965
S05 E03 Queen of Sheba Cake (black & white) December 18, 1965
S05 E04 New Year January 1, 1966
S05 E05 To Poach Sole Filets January 8, 1966
S05 E06 Chop Dinner in Half an Hour January 15, 1966
S05 E07 Filet of Beef Wellington January 22, 1966
S05 E08 Apple Charlotte January 29, 1966
S05 E09 More Great Beginnings February 5, 1966
S05 E10 Roast Suckling Pig February 12, 1966
S05 E11 More about Potatoes February 19, 1966
S05 E12 Steak Dinner in Half an Hour February 26, 1966
S05 E13 The Endive Show March 5, 1966
S05 E14 Saddle of Lamb March 12, 1966
S05 E15 Napoleons March 19, 1966
S05 E16 Paella à l'Américaine March 26, 1966
S05 E17 Dinner Party First Course April 6, 1966
S05 E18 Dinner Party Main Course April 13, 1966
S05 E19 Dinner Party Meringue Dessert April 20, 1966
S05 E20 Soupe au Pistou April 27, 1966
S05 E21 Quenelles May 4, 1966
S06 (1966-67) E01 Génoise Cake May 11, 1966
S06 E02 Petits Fours May 18, 1966
S06 E03 The Mayonnaise Show May 25, 1966
S06 E04 Swordfish Dinner in a Half Hour June 1, 1966
S06 E05 Ossobuco June 8, 1966
S06 E06 Sweetbreads and Brains June 15, 1966
S06 E07 Asparagus from Tip to Butt June 22, 1966
S06 E08 Operation Chicken June 29, 1966
S06 E09 To Poach a Chicken July 6, 1966
S06 E10 Mousses, Bombes and Parfaits July 13, 1966
S06 E11 Bourride and Aïoli July 20, 1966
S06 E12 To Poach an Egg July 27, 1966
S06 E13 Roast Leg of Lamb August 3, 1966
S06 E14 Lobster Thermidor August 10, 1966
S06 E15 Speaking of Tongues August 17, 1966
S06 E16 Pipérade for Lunch August 24, 1966
S06 E17 Turban of Sole August 31, 1966
S07 (1970-71) E01 Bouillabaisse à la Marseillaise October 7, 1970
S07 E02 Napoleon's Chicken October 14, 1970
S07 E03 Spinach Twins (color) October 21, 1970
S07 E04 Cake with a Halo October 28, 1970
S07 E05 Hamburger Dinner November 4, 1970
S07 E06 Salade Niçoise November 11, 1970
S07 E07 Turkey Breast Braised November 18, 1970
S07 E08 Lasagne à la Française November 25, 1970
S07 E09 Waiting for Gigot December 2, 1970
S07 E10 How about Lentils December 9, 1970
S07 E11 Fish in Monk's Clothing December 16, 1970
S07 E12 Gâteau in a Cage December 23, 1970
S07 E13 Cheese and Wine Party December 30, 1970
S07 E14 Curry Dinner January 6, 1971
S07 E15 Apple Desserts January 13, 1971
S07 E16 Meat Loaf Masquerade January 20, 1971
S07 E17 To Roast a Chicken January 27, 1971
S07 E18 Hard Boiled Eggs February 3, 1971
S07 E19 Boeuf Bourguignon February 10, 1971
S07 E20 Strawberry Soufflé February 17, 1971
S07 E21 Spaghetti Flambé February 24, 1971
S07 E22 French Bread March 3, 1971
S07 E23 More about French Bread March 10, 1971
S08 (1971) E01 Vegetable for all Occasions March 17, 1971
S08 E02 Pot au Feu March 24, 1971
S08 E03 Pizza Variations March 31, 1971
S08 E04 Begin with Shrimp April 7, 1971
S08 E05 Chocolate Cake April 14, 1971
S08 E06 Working with Chocolate April 21, 1971
S08 E07 To Press a Duck April 28, 1971
S08 E08 Flaky Pastry May 5, 1971
S08 E09 Glamour Pudding May 12, 1971
S08 E10 The Whole Fish Story May 19, 1971
S08 E11 VIP Veal: Poitrine Farcie May 26, 1971
S08 E12 Brochettes, Kebabs and Skewers June 2, 1971
S08 E13 Rye Bread June 6, 1971
S08 E14 Flaming Fish June 13, 1971
S08 E15 Summer Salads June 20, 1971
S08 E16 Lobster Show June 27, 1971
S08 E17 Coq au Vin Alias Chicken Fricassee July 7, 1971
S08 E18 Mousse au Chocolat July 14, 1971
S08 E19 Quiche Lorraine and Company July 21, 1971
S08 E20 To Stuff a Sausage July 28, 1971
S09 (1971-72) E01 The Artichoke November 3, 1971
S09 E02 Tartes aux Fruits (Fruit Tarts) November 10, 1971
S09 E03 To Roast a Turkey November 17, 1971
S09 E04 French Croissants November 24, 1971
S09 E05 Soup du Jour December 1, 1971
S09 E06 Terrines and Pâtés December 8, 1971
S09 E07 Madeleines and Génoise Jelly Roll December 15, 1971
S09 E08 To Make a Bûche December 22, 1971
S09 E09 Le Cocktail December 29, 1971
S09 E10 Gallic Pot Roast January 2, 1972
S09 E11 Cheese Soufflé January 9, 1972
S09 E12 The Good Loaf January 16, 1972
S09 E13 The Hollandaise Family January 23, 1972
S09 E14 Tripes à la Mode January 30, 1972
S09 E15 Sole Bonne Femme February 6, 1972
S09 E16 Orange Bavarian Cream February 13, 1972
S09 E17 To Stuff a Cabbage February 20, 1972
S09 E18 The Omelette Show February 27, 1972
S09 E19 Elegance with Aspic March 5, 1972
S09 E20 French Fries March 12, 1972
S09 E21 Ham Transformation March 19, 1972
S10 E22 Ice Cream March 26, 1972
S10 (1972-73) E01 For Working Guys and Gals October 1, 1972
S10 E02 Small Kitchen, Big Ideas October 8, 1972
S10 E03 Coffee and Brioche October 15, 1972
S10 E04 Brunch for a Bunch October 22, 1972
S10 E05 VIP Cake [Le Brantome] October 29, 1972
S10 E06 To Ragoût a Goose November 5, 1972
S10 E07 Sudden Company November 12, 1972
S10 E08 First Course Sit Down Dinner November 19, 1972
S10 E09 Main Course Sit Down Dinner November 26, 1972
S10 E10 Grand Finale Sit Down Dinner December 3, 1972
S10 E11 Kids Want to Cook December 10, 1972
S10 E12 Two-Dollar Banquet January 7, 1973
S10 E13 Puff Pastry to Go January 14, 1973

Companion booksEdit

Two companion cookbooks were written along with the show. The French Chef Cookbook was a show-by-show breakdown of the black and white series,[13] while From Julia Child's Kitchen was a somewhat more ambitious work that was based on the color series but also added considerable extra material.[14]

DVD releasesEdit

  • Julia Child's Kitchen Wisdom (2000)
  • Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home (2003)
  • Julia Child: America's Favorite Chef (2004)
  • The French Chef: Volume One (2005)
  • The French Chef: Volume Two (2005)
  • The French Chef with Julia Child (As Seen on Public Television). WGBH 2005 [1] 3 DVDs, runtime 432 min. (2005)
  • Julia Child! The French Chef (2006)
  • The French Chef: Julia Child's French Classics (2012)[15]


  1. ^ J.C. Maçek III (August 13, 2012). "Bless This Mess: Sweeping the Kitchen with Julia Child". PopMatters.
  2. ^ a b "Food: Everyone's in the Kitchen". Time. November 25, 1966. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  3. ^ "Personal Award for The French Chef". Peabody Award. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  4. ^ "Personal Award for The French Chef". Primetime Emmy Award. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  5. ^ "A Brief History of Captioned Television". National Captioning Institute. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011. While the closed captioning service was being developed, there were some programs with "open" captions airing on PBS. In 1972, The French Chef became the very first television program that was accessible to deaf and hard of hearing viewers.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Julia Child Marathon: Introducing the Official Food Channel with The French Chef!". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  8. ^ "Julia Child is the next PBS star to get a Twitch marathon". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  9. ^ "Food Channel Continues with 24/7 Cooking Programming". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  10. ^ Temple, Joseph. "8 FACTS ABOUT JULIA CHILD AND THE FRENCH CHEF THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU". International Wine & Food Society. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  11. ^ Temple, Joseph. "8 FACTS ABOUT JULIA CHILD AND THE FRENCH CHEF THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU". International Wine & Food Society. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  12. ^ Temple, Joseph. "8 FACTS ABOUT JULIA CHILD AND THE FRENCH CHEF THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU". International Wine & Food Society. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  13. ^ Julia Child (1963). The French Chef Cookbook. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 424.
  14. ^ Julia Child (1970). From Julia Child's Kitchen. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 687.
  15. ^ Lambert, David (August 15, 2012). "The French Chef – Press Release: 'Julia Child's French Classics' DVD, On Her 100th Birthday". Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.

External linksEdit