Fans of legendary culinary personality and star of The French Chef Julia Child will get the chance to compete in a new Food Network cooking show titled The Julia Child Challenge honoring some of her most iconic recipes. This unique cooking competition series allows home cooks to follow in their idol’s footsteps. The winning home chef will win a three-month all-expenses-paid trip to a cooking school in Paris. Child will appear in every episode, inspiring and assisting these fledgling chefs throughout their journey.
What is ‘The Julia Child Challenge’ about?
Eight competitors, all Julia Child superfans, will share personal stories about their hero throughout the competition.
Head judge Antonia Lofaso will work alongside a rotating panel of guest judges to critique the home cooks.
Molly Baz, Stephanie Boswell, Alvin Cailan, Cliff Crooks, Susan Feniger, Dorie Greenspan, Melissa King, Nilou Motamed, Jacques Pepin, Sherry Yard, and Brooke Williamson will appear.
However, instead of just one set of judges, it will be the group that will ultimately decide who will win the series grand prize.
Consequently, the Julia Child Challenge winner will walk away with a prize that mirrors an experience Child had in her own life: an all-expense-paid three-month cooking course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France.
Who are the competitors?
According to a press release via discovery+, the French Chef’s admirers hail from across the United States, from the East to West coast.
These include Bill Borman (Hudson, New York); Christine Fiorentino (Hoboken, New Jersey); Dustin Hogue (Chicago, Illinois); Jaine Mackievitz (Worcester, Massachusetts); Brit Moore (New York, New York); Dustin Rennells (Charlestown, Massachusetts); Elena Ross-Salonga (Cambria, California) and Fabrizio Villalpando (LA, California).
Julia Child will appear in each episode, here’s how
To clarify, during each episode, home chefs will compete in two rounds.
For example, the contestants will first master the basics of French cooking. Then they’ll be challenged to recreate one of Julia’s signature dishes.
In addition, Child will guide the competitors via a giant television screen located in the middle of the stage.
However, during round two, competitors must take inspiration from The French Chef. They must create a unique dish reflecting their culinary point of view.
After that, fellow competitors and judges will sample each dish family-style and share stories about the food and personal connection to Julia.
Based on the competitors’ overall performance, each week, one is eliminated until only one is left standing to win the ultimate grand prize.
Contestants will recreate the dish that set Julia Child on her path toward French culinary excellence
These contestants will cook in a kitchen recreated in the likeness of where Julia prepared some iconic dishes such as the one that set forth her path to culinary greatness: sole meunière.
In her book “My Life in France,” the Smith College graduate wrote about the signature dish that inspired her to learn everything she could about French food.
“The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection. It was in France, at La Couronne, that I experienced fish and dining experience of a higher order than any I’d had before.”
Child inspired decades of cooks after her, including Ina Garten Martha Stewart, and Lidia Bastianich.
The Julia Child Challenge will premiere Monday, Mar. 14, at 9 p.m. EST on both Food Network and discovery+.