The First French Meals of Julia Child, M.F.K. Fisher, and James Beard

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Julia Child, at her vacation home in Grasse, France, in 1978. Photo: AP/Corbis

In late 1970, James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones all happened more or less coincidentally to be in the south of France. The new book Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste, written by M.F.K. Fisher's great-nephew Luke Barr, recounts that time and how the group helped shaped America's love of French cuisine. The following excerpt tracks how each would arrive in France and the foods that compelled them to return again and again.