Julia Child wasn't perfect in the kitchen, and that was perfect

Alex Abad-Santos

Most cooking shows today are built on being perfect. With the exception of Rachael Ray, there's been a trend of turning cooking shows into flawless, over-achieving displays of cooking prowess. Flour is never spilt, eggs are cracked with a surgeon's precision, butter is obedient, and fussy shellfish bend to the will of Food Network's chefs, those wizards in button-up shirts.

That's not how real-life cooking happens. Julia Child knew this. Child always told her audience that cooking is personal, something you don't always get right, something you shouldn't take too seriously.

In honor of Julia Child's 102nd birthday, let's remember this force of nature as the woman who wasn't afraid of a wayward flip of a potato pancake:

Let's also remember the woman who wasn't afraid to make fun of herself with David Letterman. Letterman asked her if she ever made anything bad (she said she did) and what she did with the food. "Give it to my husband," Child said, as she proceeded to make Letterman "beef tartare au gratin."

Nor was Child afraid to make fun of herself and intentionally burn her food:

These short videos are all part of Child's larger mantra: don't be afraid of failure in the kitchen. And don't be afraid to laugh at yourself:

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