The Bookshelf: Julia Child's The French Chef

Julia Child's The French Chef

Now that we inhabit a supersaturated food-media world of flawless camera-ready meals, secret ingredients, and down-to-the buzzer cooking, it's no surprise that the pioneers of the genre can be overshadowed by their flashier descendents. So when Dana Polan, professor of cinema studies at New York University, came by last week's Beard on Books to discuss his latest book, Julia Child's The French Chef, we asked him some questions about Child, her groundbreaking cooking show, and the evolution of the medium.   James Beard Foundation: You write that viewers of food television in the 1960s, which was a very volatile era, took comfort in the predictability of cooking shows. Today’s food shows are more suspenseful; we don’t know if the contestants on Chopped will actually finish the dish. What

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