Julia Child’s Last Meal Was Her Favorite Dish of All Time

There are many high-profile celebrity chefs who have graced society over the years, and many of them have made indelible impressions on popular culture. Still, few are as iconic and interesting as Julia Child, the woman who single-handedly introduced classic French cooking to the American public.

Although Child passed away nearly fifteen years ago, her influence remains as strong as ever, and hundreds of fans continue to look to her as they begin their journeys in the kitchen.

Child was a very quirky woman, and was outspoken in her likes and dislikes — and many of her diehard fans would likely not be surprised to learn what she chose as her very last meal. 

When was Julia Child born?

Celebrity chef Julia Child
Celebrity chef Julia Child | Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California, in 1912. Raised in a prestigious family with a strong political foundation, Child studied at boarding school when she was a young woman. She excelled at athletics, and played golf, tennis, and basketball, particularly excelling at the latter. After she graduated from college, Child worked for a time as a copywriter before joining the Office of Strategic Services. 

Child’s services were invaluable during World War II, and she made several major contributions to the war effort, including developing a shark repellent that is still in use today.

Following World War II, Child spent some time in France, where she fell in love with French cooking, and the culinary arts in general. In 1951, Child graduated from the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and began pursuing a career in the food industry.

What is Julia Child best known for?

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In 1963, Julia Child’s cooking show, The French Chef, debuted on television. As one of the world’s first live cooking shows, there was a definite learning curve, and Child, with her ebullient and heartwarming personality, frequently made errors on-camera, burning food and even forgetting to add certain ingredients.

Still, viewers loved her reliability, and her occasional lapses made many people feel more confident experimenting in the kitchen. That first cooking show launched a food empire for Child, one that included several more television shows and a plethora of cookbooks.

Over the years, Child received many awards and accolades, including multiple Daytime Emmy Awards. She was praised for her cheerful, steadfast nature, and even well into her later years, she continued to work in the culinary arts, publishing books and working with others who shared her deep love of food. 

What was Julia Child’s last meal?

Julia Child fought a long battle with cancer, and was initially diagnosed with the disease when she was in her sixties. She went on to become a survivor, and maintaining her tradition of keeping things positive, she rarely spoke about her life-threatening illness.

Still, Child experienced some serious health struggles towards the end of her life, and ultimately, she died of kidney failure in 2004, when she was ninety-one years old.

Child loved food right up until the very end, and Taste of Home reported that for her last meal, she chose a hearty bowl of French onion soup, one of her all-time favorite staples.

The choice is perfectly appropriate for a woman who pioneered the way that American audiences looked at French food and classical French cooking.

These days, any time a kitchen newbie decides to pick up one of her cookbooks or tunes in to a rerun of her cooking show, they are paying tribute to a woman who dedicated her entire life to bettering the world around her.