Julie Powell Who Inspired Hit Film Julie & Julia Died At The Age Of 49
Food writer and blogger Julie Powell who inspired hit film Julie & Julia died at the age of 49. Julie Powell, who gained fame with an early food blog that was later turned into a best-selling book and a hit movie, has passed away at the age of 49.
Her blog was turned into a movie. Powell set herself the challenge in 2002 of preparing all 524 recipes contained in a cookbook written by TV chef Julia Child in the span of 365 days as a diversion from her regular job.
The subsequent blog attracted a sizable readership, and in 2005, it was turned into a book. Amy Adams portrayed her in the 2009 film adaptation of the book, which was titled Julie & Julia and was written and directed by Nora Ephron.
Julie Powell, the author whose decision to spend a year cooking every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" led to the creation of the popular food blog, the Julie/Julia Project.
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It is a movie starring Meryl Streep, and a new following for Julia Child in the final years of her life, passed away on October 26 at her home in Olivebridge, which is located in the state of New York's upstate region.
See video report below.
Julie Powell, 'Julie & Julia' Inspiration, Dead at 49
Eric Powell, her husband, stated that the cause was cardiac arrest. Ms. Powell narrated her kitchen struggles in a funny, lacerating voice that struck a chord with a new generation of disgruntled young people.
The Julie/Julia Project became a popular model for other blogs, and was imitated by fans of Ina Garten, Thomas Keller, and Dorie Greenspan, as well as helping to build the vast modern audience for home cooking on social media.
Ms. Powell was an aspiring writer working at a low-level administrative position in Lower Manhattan in 2002. She was approaching her 30th birthday and had no real career prospects. It was "one of those panicked, backed-into-a-corner kind of moments," she told The New York Times.
She set out to cook all 524 recipes from her mother's well-worn copy of Mrs. Child's 1961 classic "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1" to give structure to her days. However, as an untrained chef living in a small Long Island City loft, she discovered the road to be long, sweaty, and bumpy.
She wrote long updates for Salon.com, punctuated by vodka gimlets and filled with entertaining, profane tirades about the difficulties of finding ingredients, the minor disappointments of adult life, and the larger challenges of finding purpose as a member of Generation X.
Before the end of the year, Salon reported that the blog had 400,000 total page views, as well as several thousand regular readers who were waiting to see if Ms. Powell would finish on time.
Ms. Powell was able to reach readers on a relatively new platform and in a new kind of direct language thanks to blogging. In a 2009 interview, she said that they have a medium where they can type in the snarky comments we used to just say out loud to their friends.
Those comments were made at a time when there was a surge in interest in food, cooking, and chefs. Ms. Powell's self-deprecating tone bridged the gap between the authority of food writers such as Mrs. Child, James Beard, and M.F.K. Fisher and the accessibility of Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, and Nigella Lawson.
Just weeks before Ms. Powell's self-imposed deadline, Amanda Hesser, founder of the website Food52 and former Times reporter, wrote about her project, and interest soared.
According to Ms. Hesser, the Julie/Julia Project revolutionized food writing. She'd never read anyone like her before. Her writing was so fresh, spirited even crude at times! and gloriously unmoored from any tradition.
Ms. Powell inspired other amateur food writers to start cooking through cookbooks and made professional food writers realize "they'd been stuck in the mud of conformity," according to Ms. Hesser. "The internet democratized food writing, and Julie was the first distinctive voice of the new school."
She wrote about food in a really human voice that sounded like people she knew, said writer Deb Perelman, who started her food blog (now called Smitten Kitchen) in 2003. She conveyed that you could write about food without going to culinary school, with little experience, and in a real-life kitchen.
"Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen," published by Little, Brown & Company, is based on the blog. Although some critics said it lacked literary heft, it went on to sell over a million copies, mostly under the paperback title "Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously."