Julie Powell, a bestselling author who chronicled her efforts to prepare each recipe in Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, which later inspired the film ‘Julie & Julia’, died on October 26 at her home At New York. She was 49 years old.
Her death was confirmed to The New York Times by her husband, Eric Powell, who said the cause was cardiac arrest.
Powell’s book was made into a 2009 film directed by Nora Ephron, with Meryl Streep playing Julia Child and Amy Adams as Powell herself.
CNN has reached out to the food writer’s influential editor for comment.
“Julie & Julia” began as a blog on Salon.com in which Powell, seeking an outlet for his monotonous life as a temp in midtown Manhattan shortly after 9/11, embarked on an odyssey of home cooking to succeed in the 524 recipes. in Child’s classic French cookbook for a year in her small kitchen in Astoria, Queens.
The resulting memoir, “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” came after the blog gained a loyal following eager to share Powell’s successes and failures as she strove to prepare stimulating dishes like beef bourguignon and boneless duck for Canard en Croûte.
Since the success of that bestseller, Powell wrote another in 2009, “Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession.”
More recently, she returned to the Salon earlier this year to write a series of commentaries on the Food Network series “The Julia Child Challenge.”
“She’s really made her own way,” said Mary Elizabeth Williams, senior writer for Salon, who previously ran Open Salon, the platform that hosted Powell’s blog. “We were lucky to be the relay.”
Central to Powell’s blog, and later the acclaimed film that used it as its basis, was the writer’s admiration for Julia Child’s cooking and lifestyle.
“Julia taught me what it takes to find your way in the world. It’s not what I thought it was,” Powell wrote. “I thought it was all about – I don’t know not, of confidence, of will or of luck. These are all good things to have, no doubt. But there is something else, something from which these things flow. That is joy.