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October 26, 2011
THE READ: A Covert Affair

In the photo: Julia hoped this coquettish pose on the cot in her bamboo hut in Kandy would give Paul ideas, but instead he forwarded it to his brother as an interesting example of the local architecture.

Long before Julia Child took her first cooking class -- learning how to make baking powder biscuits -- from a couple of “old English ladies” at the Hillcliff School of Cookery in Beverly Hills, she’d experienced an action-packed, wartime career as a secret service agent with the Office of Strategic Services (a precursor to the CIA).

It was while posted in Ceylon, India and Kunming, China with the OSS, that Julia first discovered and fell in love with Indian and Chinese food. Indeed, her interest in all southeast Asian food pre-dated any familiarity with French cuisine by at least a decade. The Pacific battlefield was also where she met Paul Child, a fellow OSS officer and her future soul mate.

Here’s just a few of the things we learned from:

A Cover Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS
by Jennet Conant ( Simon and Schuster, 2011)


Filed in ARTS & CULTURE/Books.

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