Julie Powell, food writer behind 'Julie & Julia,' dead at 49


Category:  Wine & Food

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  4 weeks ago  •  8 comments

By:   Dan Heching CNN

Julie Powell, food writer behind 'Julie & Julia,' dead at 49

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Julie Powell, food writer behind 'Julie & Julia,' dead at 49


Food writer Julie Powell chops leeks to make potato leek soup, one of the first recipes in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," shown at left, in her apartment in New York on Sept. 30, 2005. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

ulie Powell, a bestselling author who chronicled her efforts to prepare every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," which later inspired the movie "Julie & Julia," died Oct. 26 at her home in New York. She was 49.

Her death was confirmed to the  New York Times  by her husband, Eric Powell, who said the cause was cardiac arrest.

Powell's book was turned into a 2009 film directed by Nora Ephron, with Meryl Streep playing Julia Child and Amy Adams in the role of Powell herself.

CNN has reached out to the influential food writer's publisher for comment.

"Julie & Julia" began as a blog on Salon.com in which Powell, seeking an outlet from her humdrum life as a temp in downtown Manhattan soon after 9/11, embarked on a home-cooking odyssey to successfully pull off all 524 recipes in Child's classic French cookbook over the course of one year in her small Astoria, Queens kitchen.

The resulting memoir, "Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen," came after the blog gained a loyal following that was eager to share in Powell's successes and failures as she endeavoured to prepare challenging dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon and a deboned duck for Canard en Croûte.

Since the success of that bestselling book, Powell went on to write one more in 2009, "Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession."

More recently, she returned to Salon earlier this year to write a series of  commentary pieces  about the Food Network series "The Julia Child Challenge."

"She truly made her own lane,"  Salon senior writer Mary Elizabeth Williams , who previously managed Open Salon, the platform that hosted Powell's blog, said of the writer. "We were lucky enough to be the conduit."

At the centre of Powell's blog, and later the acclaimed film that used it as a base, was the writer's admiration for Julia Child's cooking and way of life.

"Julia taught me what it takes to find your way in the world. It's not what I thought it was," Powell wrote. "I thought it was all about – I don't know, confidence or will or luck. Those are all some good things to have, no question. But there's something else, something that these things grow out of. It's joy."


jrDiscussion - desc
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

I couldn't decide whether to post this article on the Books group or the Movies group so it's posted under "Food & Wine".  The movie Julie & Julia is a lot of fun, because Meryl Streep playing Julia Child is absolutely hilarious.

Freshman Guide
1.1  Revillug  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    4 weeks ago

Julia Child, apparently, really hated the "Julie and Julia" blog and other related projects. If I recall she said something like, "you are piggybacking on my fame!"

Everyone who came after Julia was piggybacking on her pioneering cooking shows. She spawned a genre and an industry.

Julie also spawned something new. There are sooo many cooking videos and cooking blogs on the web now.

Whenever I want to cook something, I don't reach for a cookbook. I reach for a webbrowser.


Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Revillug @1.1    4 weeks ago
Whenever I want to cook something, I don't reach for a cookbook. I reach for a webbrowser.

Me too!

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Revillug @1.1    4 weeks ago

There was an indication in the movie that Julia was unhappy about what Julie was doing. 

Freshman Guide
1.1.3  Revillug  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.1    4 weeks ago

I've built up a bit of a scrapbook over the years just from recipes found on the web. They live as PDFs on my hard drive but some of them are in a binder so I don't waste paper printing them out more than once.

Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

That was a cute movie. 

This woman most likely had a congenital heart defect that went undetected until tragedy struck.  49 is a little young for other forms of heart attack. 

Senior Expert
2.1  Gsquared  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago

I was thinking the same thing.  It's possible that she could have had occasional symptoms but ignored them, not realizing what they were about.

Freshman Guide
2.1.1  Revillug  replied to  Gsquared @2.1    4 weeks ago

Am I the only one who was thinking when they first heard this story, "Maybe I should give the French food a rest?"

I realize that's not only a selfish first thought but that she probably had some sort of congenital issue that went undetected.

It's a shame to lose life so young.


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