Through intimate and compelling photographs taken by her husband Paul Child, a gifted photographer, France is a Feast documents how Julia Child first discovered French cooking and the French way of life. Paul and Julia moved to Paris in 1948 where he was cultural attaché for the US Information Service, and in this role he met Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Brassai, and other leading lights of the photography world. As Julia recalled: “Paris was wonderfully walkable, and it was a natural subject for Paul.”
Their wanderings through the French capital and countryside, frequently photographed by Paul, would help lead to the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julia’s brilliant and celebrated career in books and on television. Though Paul was an accomplished photographer (his work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art), his photographs remained out of the public eye until the publication of Julia’s memoir, My Life in France, in which several of his images were included. Now, with more than 200 of Paul’s photographs and personal stories recounted by his great-nephew Alex Prud’homme, France is a Feast not only captures this magical period in Paul and Julia’s lives, but also brings to light Paul Child’s own remarkable photographic achievement.
Thoroughly delicious… Comprised of 225 black-and-white photographs by Paul Child, the husband of Julia Child, taken during the couple's time in France beginning in 1948, this intimate photo album delivers mesmerizing visual addenda to Julia Child's memoir, My Life in France. Zeroing in on postwar Paris, the book covers the couple's early years in France and yields a unique perspective on postwar Europe as well as on the backstory of the woman whose name is synonymous with French cuisine in 20th-century America. The collection includes photos of Julia's days at the Cordon Bleu with fellow chefs, as well as snapshots of her at work amid pots and pans in the tiny kitchen of the couple's Paris apartment. In other photos, Paul plays with shadows and angles while shooting the streets of Paris or the fields of the French countryside. There are also the more everyday traveler's shots featuring a leggy Julia that illuminate the love story between the photographer and his muse.
— Publishers Weekly
Alex Prud’homme, the grandnephew of Paul Child, is the coauthor with Julia Child of the New York Times #1 bestseller My Life in France. He is also the author of The French Chef in America.
Katie Pratt is a photography curator. Her parents were among Paul and Julia Childs’s closest friends.