The French Chef
Child demonstrating how to cook an omelette on the first season of The French Chef
Created byJulia Child
Directed by
Presented byJulia Child
Theme music composerJohn Morris
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes201
ProducerRuth Lockwood
Production locationsWGBH Studios, Boston, Massachusetts
Running time28 minutes
Production companyWGBH-TV
Original release
NetworkNET (1963-66)
PBS (1970-73)
ReleaseFebruary 11, 1963 (1963-02-11) –
January 14, 1973 (1973-01-14)

The French Chef is an American television cooking show created and hosted by Julia Child,[1] produced and broadcast by WGBH, the public television station in Boston, Massachusetts, from February 11, 1963 [2] to January 14, 1973. It was one of the first cooking shows on American television.

The French Chef was first shown with a pilot on July 26, 1962.[3] After two more episodes were broadcast in the summer, the show premiered as a regular weekly series on February 11, 1963.[4] The immensely popular show went on to air for 206 episodes. It is credited with convincing the American public to try cooking French food at home.[5]

The show grew out of a special presentation Child gave on WGBH based on the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking which she co-authored. The French Chef was produced from 1963 to 1973 by WGBH for National Educational Television (and later for PBS). Reruns continued on PBS until 1989, and were airing on Cooking Channel as of 2010. As of September 2016, episodes were being rerun on the new Canadian cooking channel Gusto, and later, Makeful. As recently as March 2017, reruns of the show were also seen on the American Public Television Create channel.

The original episodes were available on the PBS streaming service as of 2020. In July 2021, certain episodes were added to the Pluto TV lineup, together with other Julia Child cooking programs.[6]


The French Chef introduced French cooking to the United States at a time when it was considered expensive restaurant fare, not suitable for home cooking.[citation needed] Child emphasized fresh and, at the time, unusual ingredients.

All of the recipes used on The French Chef had originally appeared in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but for the show, Child chose mostly the more domestic recipes from the book,[citation needed] although such showpieces as Beef Wellington, various sorts of soufflé, and some ambitious pastries also made it into the mix if they seemed within the reach of a home cook without staff.

The show was done live-to-videotape from start to finish, leaving little room for mistakes. The resulting occasional accidents became a popular trademark of Child's on air presence, used as "teachable moments" to encourage viewers to relax about the task's demands.

Certain elements became motifs: Julia's fondness for wine; her distinctive voice; her staunch defense of the use of butter (with margarine invariably referred to as "that other spread") and cream; her standard issue "impeccably clean towel"; and her closing line at the end of every show: "This is Julia Child, Bon appétit!"


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2011)

So good is she that men who have not the slightest intention of going to the kitchen for anything but ice cubes watch her for pure enjoyment.

— Time magazine cover story from November 1966[7]

Child's first appearance cooking on TV had been by happenstance: a guest for another show on WGBH had canceled their appearance, as did the backup guest. Child was invited to do a cooking demonstration, which received positive feedback and prompted executives to order a pilot.[8]

When the show began, the budget was so low that "volunteers had to be recruited to wash dishes, and the food sometimes had to be auctioned to the audience afterwards to cover expenses."[7]

In 1964 Child received a Peabody Award, crediting her for doing "more than show us how good cooking is achieved; by her delightful demonstrations she has brought the pleasures of good living into many American homes."[9] In May 1966, her show won a Primetime Emmy Award for Achievements in Educational Television – Individuals.[10]

The August 27, 1968 episode of The French Chef (rerun from an episode sometime in 1965) ended with the unexpected collapse of an Apple Charlotte.

The October 31, 1971 episode of The French Chef (on its ninth anniversary) was the first U.S. television show to be captioned for deaf viewers.[11]

The show was produced by Ruth Lockwood and directed by Russell Morash, Russell Fortier, David Griffiths and David B. Atwood.[12] Film composer John Morris wrote the second theme song for The French Chef.

The show eventually became so popular that Child's use of a particular ingredient each week would sometimes cause a surge in demand and lead to grocery stores across the country temporarily selling out of it.[8]


Child and WGBH would collaborate again on the series Julia Child & Company from 1978 to 1980, Dinner at Julia's from 1983 to 1984, and a series of home videos in 1985 called The Way to Cook. Child would be paired with other food personalities for two additional PBS series in the 1990s, Cooking with Master Chefs: Hosted by Julia Child which ran for a single season from 1993 to 1994, and Baking with Julia for three seasons from 1996 to 1998.

As part of its growing Twitch Creative content, Twitch streamed every episode of The French Chef over a four-day period starting on March 15, 2016, to launch its new food channel.[13][14] Twitch reported that almost a million viewers watched the marathon.[15]

Julia, a television series based on Child and the creation of The French Chef, premiered on HBO Max in 2022.

List of episodes

Pilots (1962)

The three pilot episodes were subsequently taped over by the studio, a common practice at the time, and no copies are known to exist today. The subjects of the pilot episodes were revisited early in the show's run, with the French omelet and onion soup appearing in the first season and Coq au Vin in the second.

Episode Subject Air Date
Pilot The French Omelet July 28, 1962 [16]
Pilot Coq au Vin July 1962 [17]
Pilot Onion soup July 1962 [18]

Season 1 (1963)

Child wrote that the first 13 episodes were lost at one point, but that 7 were found.[citation needed] However, PBS posted 23 episodes from the first season to YouTube in June 2022, with only French Onion Soup and Dinner In a Pot missing. Those two episodes were later posted in October 2022.[19]

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Boeuf Bourguignon February 2, 1963
E02 French Onion Soup February 9, 1963
E03 Casserole Roast Chicken February 16, 1963
E04 The French Omelette February 23, 1963
E05 Scallops March 2, 1963
E06 Quiche Lorraine March 9, 1963
E07 Fruit Tarts March 16, 1963
E08 Chicken Breasts and Rice March 23, 1963
E09 Vegetables à la Française March 30, 1963
E10 Veal Scallops April 6, 1963
E11 French Salads- Mayonnaise April 13, 1963
E12 Chicken Livers à la Française April 20, 1963
E13 Roast Duck à l'Orange April 27, 1963
E14 Chocolate Mousse[20] May 4, 1963
E15 Pâtés May 11, 1963
E16 Aspics May 18, 1963
E17 Bouillabaise May 25, 1963
E18 Lobster à l'Américaine June 1, 1963
E19 French Crêpes June 8, 1963
E20 French Crêpes II - Suzette June 15, 1963
E21 Steaks and Hamburgers June 22, 1963
E22 The Potato Show June 29, 1963
E23 Soufflé on a Platter July 6, 1963
E24 Dinner in a Pot July 13, 1963
E25 Pâté à Choux July 20, 1963

Season 2 (1963-1964)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Caramel Desserts November 30, 1963
E02 Cooking Your Goose December 7, 1963
E03 Chestnut Cookery December 14, 1963
E04 Bringing in the New Year December 21, 1963
E05 Coq au Vin January 1, 1964
E06 Cassoulet January 8, 1964
E07 Vegetable Adventures January 15, 1964
E08 Puff Pastry January 22, 1964
E09 More about Puff Pastry January 29, 1964
E10 Fish Mousselines February 5, 1964
E11 Cake for Company February 12, 1964
E12 Artichokes from Top to Bottom February 19, 1964
E13 Elegance with Eggs February 26, 1964
E14 Cold Soufflés and Bavarian Cream March 4, 1964
E15 Case for Salmon March 11, 1964
E16 Broccoli and Cauliflower March 18, 1964
E17 Veal for a King March 25, 1964
E18 The Soup Show April 1, 1964
E19 Flaming Soufflé April 8, 1964
E20 Small Roast Birds April 15, 1964

Season 3 (1964-1965)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Timbales April 22, 1964
E02 Fish Filets Sylvestre October 28, 1964
E03 Babas au Rhum November 4, 1964
E04 Chicken Dinner in Half an Hour November 11, 1964
E05 Rognons Sautés and Flambés December 2, 1964
E06 The Mushroom Show December 9, 1964
E07 Veal Dinner in Half an Hour December 16, 1964
E08 Broiled Chicken Plain and Saucy December 23, 1964
E09 Lamb Stew is French, Too January 6, 1965
E10 Introducing Charlotte Malakoff January 13, 1965
E11 Hot Turkey Ballotine January 20, 1965
E12 Cold Turkey Galantine January 27, 1965
E13 Le Marquis au Chocolate February 3, 1965
E14 Vegetables for the Birds February 10, 1965
E15 French Tarts, Apple Style February 17, 1965
E16 French Jelly Roll February 24, 1965
E17 Bûche de Noël March 3, 1965
E18 Beef Gets Stewed Two Ways March 10, 1965
E19 Ham Dinner in Half an Hour March 17, 1965
E20 Croissants March 24, 1965

Season 4 (1965)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Chocolate Souffle March 31, 1965
E02 Four in Hand Chicken April 7, 1965
E03 Brioches April 14, 1965
E04 Veal Prince Orloff April 21, 1965
E05 Great Beginnings April 28, 1965
E06 Turban of Sole May 5, 1965
E07 Strawberry Tarts May 12, 1965
E08 The Shrimp Show May 19, 1965
E09 Salad Fixings May 26, 1965
E10 Non-collapsible Cheese Soufflé June 2, 1965
E11 Quiches June 9, 1965
E12 Fish Dinner in Half an Hour June 16, 1965
E13 French Veal Stew June 23, 1965
E14 Improvisation June 30, 1965
E15 The Empress's Rice July 7, 1965
E16 Coquilles St. Jacques July 14, 1965
E17 More about Steaks July 21, 1965
E18 To Poach a Salmon July 28, 1965
E19 Invitation To Lunch August 4, 1965
E20 Beef in Red Wine November 17, 1965

Season 5 (1965-1966)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Your Own French Onion Soup November 24, 1965
E02 Chicken in Cocotte December 11, 1965
E03 Queen of Sheba Cake (black & white) December 18, 1965
E04 New Year January 1, 1966
E05 To Poach Sole Filets January 8, 1966
E06 Chop Dinner in Half an Hour January 15, 1966
E07 Filet of Beef Wellington January 22, 1966
E08 Apple Charlotte January 29, 1966
E09 More Great Beginnings February 5, 1966
E10 Roast Suckling Pig February 12, 1966
E11 More about Potatoes February 19, 1966
E12 Steak Dinner in Half an Hour February 26, 1966
E13 The Endive Show March 5, 1966
E14 Saddle of Lamb March 12, 1966
E15 Napoleons March 19, 1966
E16 Paella à l'Américaine March 26, 1966
E17 Dinner Party First Course April 6, 1966
E18 Dinner Party Main Course April 13, 1966
E19 Dinner Party Meringue Dessert April 20, 1966
E20 Soupe au Pistou April 27, 1966
E21 Quenelles May 4, 1966

Season 6 (1966)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Génoise Cake May 11, 1966
E02 Petits Fours May 18, 1966
E03 The Mayonnaise Show May 25, 1966
E04 Swordfish Dinner in a Half Hour June 1, 1966
E05 Ossobuco June 8, 1966
E06 Sweetbreads and Brains June 15, 1966
E07 Asparagus from Tip to Butt June 22, 1966
E08 Operation Chicken June 29, 1966
E09 To Poach a Chicken July 6, 1966
E10 Mousses, Bombes and Parfaits July 13, 1966
E11 Bourride and Aïoli July 20, 1966
E12 To Poach an Egg July 27, 1966
E13 Roast Leg of Lamb August 3, 1966
E14 Lobster Thermidor August 10, 1966
E15 Speaking of Tongues August 17, 1966
E16 Pipérade for Lunch August 24, 1966
E17 Turban of Sole August 31, 1966

Season 7 (1970-1971)

The seventh season would be the first produced in color and would introduce a new theme tune for the opening titles.

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Bouillabaisse à la Marseillaise October 7, 1970
E02 Napoleon's Chicken October 14, 1970
E03 Spinach Twins October 21, 1970
E04 Cake with a Halo October 28, 1970
E05 Hamburger Dinner November 4, 1970
E06 Salade Niçoise November 11, 1970
E07 Turkey Breast Braised November 18, 1970
E08 Lasagne à la Française November 25, 1970
E09 Waiting for Gigot December 2, 1970
E10 How about Lentils December 9, 1970
E11 Fish in Monk's Clothing December 16, 1970
E12 Gâteau in a Cage December 23, 1970
E13 Cheese and Wine Party December 30, 1970
E14 Curry Dinner January 6, 1971
E15 Apple Dessert January 13, 1971
E16 Meat Loaf Masquerade January 20, 1971
E17 To Roast a Chicken January 27, 1971
E18 Hard Boiled Eggs February 3, 1971
E19 Boeuf Bourguignon February 10, 1971
E20 Strawberry Soufflé February 17, 1971
E21 Spaghetti Flambé February 24, 1971
E22 French Bread March 3, 1971
E23 More about French Bread March 10, 1971

Season 8 (1971)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Vegetable for all Occasions March 17, 1971
E02 Pot au Feu March 24, 1971
E03 Pizza Variations March 31, 1971
E04 Begin with Shrimp April 7, 1971
E05 Chocolate Cake April 14, 1971
E06 Working with Chocolate April 21, 1971
E07 To Press a Duck April 28, 1971
E08 Flaky Pastry May 5, 1971
E09 Glamour Pudding May 12, 1971
E10 The Whole Fish Story May 19, 1971
E11 VIP Veal: Poitrine Farcie May 26, 1971
E12 Brochettes, Kebabs and Skewers June 2, 1971
E13 Rye Bread June 6, 1971
E14 Flaming Fish June 13, 1971
E15 Summer Salads June 20, 1971
E16 Lobster Show June 27, 1971

Season 9 (1971-1972)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 Coq au Vin Alias Chicken Fricassee October 6, 1971
E02 Mousse au Chocolat October 13, 1971
E03 Quiche Lorraine and Company October 20, 1971
E04 To Stuff a Sausage October 27, 1971
E05 The Artichoke November 3, 1971
E06 Tartes aux Fruits (Fruit Tarts) November 10, 1971
E07 To Roast a Turkey November 17, 1971
E08 French Croissants November 24, 1971
E09 Soup du Jour December 1, 1971
E10 Terrines and Pâtés December 8, 1971
E11 Madeleines and Génoise Jelly Roll December 15, 1971
E12 To Make a Bûche December 22, 1971
E13 Le Cocktail December 29, 1971
E14 Gallic Pot Roast January 2, 1972
E15 Cheese Soufflé January 9, 1972
E16 The Good Loaf January 16, 1972
E17 The Hollandaise Family January 23, 1972
E18 Tripes à la Mode January 30, 1972
E19 Sole Bonne Femme February 6, 1972
E20 Orange Bavarian Cream February 13, 1972
E21 To Stuff a Cabbage February 20, 1972
E22 The Omelette Show February 27, 1972
E23 Elegance with Aspic March 5, 1972
E24 French Fries March 12, 1972
E25 Ham Transformation March 19, 1972
E26 Ice Cream March 26, 1972

Season 10 (1972-1973)

Episode Subject Air Date
E01 For Working Guys and Gals October 1, 1972
E02 Small Kitchen, Big Ideas October 8, 1972
E03 Coffee and Brioche October 15, 1972
E04 Brunch for a Bunch October 22, 1972
E05 VIP Cake [Le Brantome] October 29, 1972
E06 To Ragoût a Goose November 5, 1972
E07 Sudden Company November 12, 1972
E08 First Course Sit Down Dinner November 19, 1972
E09 Main Course Sit Down Dinner November 26, 1972
E10 Grand Finale Sit Down Dinner December 3, 1972
E11 Kids Want to Cook December 10, 1972
E12 Two-Dollar Banquet January 7, 1973
E13 Puff Pastry to Go January 14, 1973

Companion books

Two companion cookbooks were written along with the show. The French Chef Cookbook was a show-by-show breakdown of the black and white series,[21] while From Julia Child's Kitchen was a somewhat more ambitious work that was based on the color series but also added considerable extra material.[22]

DVD releases

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)


  1. ^ J.C. Maçek III (August 13, 2012). "Bless This Mess: Sweeping the Kitchen with Julia Child". PopMatters.
  2. ^ Boston Globe Magazine TV Week, February 10, 1963
  3. ^ "Thursday, July 26", "TV Week" in Boston Globe Magazine supplement (p. 22) to Boston Sunday Globe, July 22, 1962
  4. ^ "Monday, Feb. 11", "TV Week" in Boston Globe Magazine supplement (p. 9) to Boston Sunday Globe, February 10, 1963
  5. ^ "Julia Child | Biography, Cookbooks, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  6. ^ Andy Denhart (July 1, 2021). "Julia Child TV shows are now streaming free on Pluto, Tubi, and PBS". Reality Blurred.
  7. ^ a b "Food: Everyone's in the Kitchen". Time. November 25, 1966. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Temple, Joseph (September 19, 2014). "8 Facts about Julia Child and The French Chef that may surprise you". The International Wine & Food Society. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "Personal Award for The French Chef". Peabody Award. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  10. ^ "Personal Award for The French Chef". Primetime Emmy Award. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  11. ^ "A Brief History of Captioned Television". National Captioning Institute. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011. While the closed captioning service was being developed, there were some programs with "open" captions airing on PBS. In 1972, The French Chef became the first television program that was accessible to deaf and hard of hearing viewers.
  12. ^ Find in a library : The French chef with Julia Child. OCLC 59134316 – via
  13. ^ "Julia Child Marathon: Introducing the Official Food Channel with The French Chef!". Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "Julia Child is the next PBS star to get a Twitch marathon". March 15, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "Food Channel Continues with 24/7 Cooking Programming". Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  16. ^ Riley Fitch, Noel (1997). Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child (p. 279). Knopf Doubleday Publishing. ISBN 9780307948380.
  17. ^ "Julia Child Foundation". Julia Child Foundation. March 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "Julia Child Foundation". Julia Child Foundation. March 7, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  19. ^ "The French Chef - YouTube". PBS. Retrieved January 1, 2024.
  20. ^ Julia Child (1963). The French Chef Cookbook. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 24.
  21. ^ Julia Child (1963). The French Chef Cookbook. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 424.
  22. ^ Julia Child (1970). From Julia Child's Kitchen. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 687.
  23. ^ Lambert, David (August 15, 2012). "The French Chef – Press Release: 'Julia Child's French Classics' DVD, On Her 100th Birthday". Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.