Julie Powell died on October 26 at her home in New York. She was a best-selling author whose book about how she tried to make every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” became the basis for the movie “Julie & Julia.” She turned 49.
Eric Powell, her husband, told the New York Times that she had died. He said that she died of a heart attack. In 2009, Nora Ephron made a movie based on Powell’s book. Meryl Streep played Julia Child in the movie, and Amy Adams played Powell.
“Julie & Julia” started out as a blog on Salon.com. Powell, looking for an escape from her boring life as a temp in downtown Manhattan right after 9/11, set out on a home-cooking adventure to make all 524 recipes in Child’s classic French cookbook in her small Astoria, Queens kitchen over the course of a year.
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The resulting memoir, “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” came after Powell’s blog gained a loyal following that wanted to hear about her successes and failures as she tried to make difficult dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon and a deboned duck for Canard en Croûte.
Terribly sad to read of the deaths of Gael Greene and Julie Powell, two women who came at food writing from wildly different places and, with wit and passion, took it to new places. RIP.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) November 1, 2022
Since that book became a best-seller, Powell wrote “Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession” in 2009. She went back to Salon earlier this year to write a series of commentary pieces about “The Julia Child Challenge” on the Food Network.
Salon senior writer Mary Elizabeth Williams, who maintained Powell’s site, remarked, “She made her own lane.” “We were lucky enough to be the conduit.”
Extremely sad. Please stay safe.
As I’ve said below… pic.twitter.com/VuQDlgHt34
— Radical Centrist, wrathful tantric deity 🇺🇦 (@RadCentrism) November 1, 2022
Powell’s love for Julia Child’s cooking and way of life was at the heart of both her blog and the acclaimed movie that was based on it.
“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.”
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