25 Captivating Julia Child Quotes from My Life In France: on Food, France, Writing, & Life

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Julia Child Quotes Food France Writing Life

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"Odd, to feel as though you knew someone quite well whom you had never met."
- Julia Child

I came across that quote as I was reading Julia Child’s autobiographical work, My Life in France, and I had to pause. I was feeling the exact same sensation as I came to know Julia through her re-telling of her fascinating life story. 

She was such a refreshingly honest and unpretentious person with a zest for appreciating both life’s best and worst moments and making the most of them.

Having expected to enjoy the book, I surprised myself by loving it. It’s an inspiring story of finding love, seeking out adventure, and discovering your passion at any age or stage of life. 

25 Julia Child Quotes from My Life in France

On Food (7 Quotes)

♦ “But the more you learn the more you realize you don’t know, and I felt I had just gotten my foot in the kitchen door.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile—and learn from her mistakes.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Ah me, there was still so much to learn, and cooking was only half of it. I felt I’d have to teach at least a hundred classes before I really knew what I was doing.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “As always, this ritual meal signified an internal shifting of gears: it reminded us not only to slow down, but to open up our senses.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “And the great lesson embedded in the book is that no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should. Good results require that one take time and care.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “In all the years since that succulent meal, I have yet to lose the feelings of wonder and excitement that it inspired in me. I can still almost taste it. And thinking back on it now reminds me that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite—toujours bon appétit!” -Julia Child, My Life in France

On France (7 Quotes)

♦ “France was a misty abstraction for me, a land I had long imagined but had no real sense of. And while I couldn’t wait to step ashore, I had my reasons to be suspicious of it.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “I had married Paul Child, a painter, photographer, poet, and mid-level diplomat who had taken me to live in dirty, dreaded France. I couldn’t have been happier!” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Paul and I floated out the door into the brilliant sunshine and cool air. Our first lunch together in France had been absolute perfection. It was the most exciting meal of my life.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “She was my first cat ever, and I thought she was marvelous. Soon I began to notice cats everywhere, lurking in alleys or sunning themselves on walls or peering down at you from windows. They were such interesting, independent-minded creatures. I began to equate them with Paris.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “The sweetness and generosity and politeness and gentleness and humanity of the French had shown me how lovely life can be if one takes time to be friendly.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “In Cannes the sun was hot and the champagne was cold, and it was extremely pleasant just to sit and look around.” -Julia Child, My Life in France 

♦ “France was our North Star, our spiritual home.” -Julia Child, My Life in France 

On Writing (5 Quotes)

♦ “Writing is hard work. It did not always come easily for me, but once I got going on a subject, it flowed. Like teaching, writing has to be lively, especially for things as technical and potentially dullsville as recipes.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “I sighed. It just might be that The Book was unpublishable. I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself. I had gotten the job done, I was proud of it, and now I had a whole batch of foolproof recipes to use. Besides, I had found myself through the arduous writing process.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Seeing one’s inadequate English frozen into type was a lesson in humility.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “I am afraid that surprise, shock, and regret is the fate of authors when they finally see themselves on the page.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “As always, my work gave my life form, forced me to be productive, and helped me to keep a good balance.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

On Life (6 Quotes)

♦ “I was thirty-seven years old and still discovering who I was.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “When you know your time in a place is running out, you try to fix such moments in your mind’s eye.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Odd, to feel as though you knew someone quite well whom you had never met.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Even if we were never able to publish our book, I had discovered my raison d’être in life, and would continue my self-training and teaching.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Our viewers would learn far more if we let things happen as they tend to do in life—with the chocolate mousse refusing to unstick from its mold, or the apple charlotte collapsing. One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.” -Julia Child, My Life in France

♦ “Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’!” In other words, friendship is the most important thing—not career or housework, or one’s fatigue—and it needs to be tended and nurtured. So we packed up our bags and off we went. And thank heaven we did!” -Julia Child, My Life in France

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