‘Julie & Julia’ food writer Julie Powell whose attempt to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s famed cookbook in 365 days became a bestseller and movie starring Meryl Streep dies at age 49 after cardiac arrest
- Powell’s Julie/Julia Project established her as one of the Internet’s first food bloggers
- She wrote a bestseller that was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film
- Powell died at her home in Olivebridge, New York, her husband has said:
Food writer Julie Powell, whose blog about cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s 1961 “French Cooking” book was turned into an Oscar-nominated film, has died at age 49.
Powell rose to fame in the early 2000s when she started a blog about her attempt to cook every recipe in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1.
The project made her one of the first food bloggers on the internet and in 2005 she wrote the book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.
The late writer and director Nora Ephron adapted the book into an Oscar-nominated feature film, starring Meryl Streep as Child and Amy Adams as Powell.
Julie Powell, whose hit Julie/Julia Project blog was made into a movie, has died aged 49
The Oscar-nominated movie starring Amy Adams as Powell and Meryl Streep as Julia Child
Powell died Oct. 26 at her home in Olivebridge, New York, of cardiac arrest, her husband, Eric Powell, told the New York Times.
Powell was born Julie Foster on April 20, 1973 in Austin, Texas.
Disillusioned with her low-level administrative job after moving to New York and looking for a creative outlet, Powell launched her Julie/Julia project in the burgeoning era of internet writing.
She detailed her kitchen adventures with spiky humor in a direct, diarist tone.
The project involved cooking all 524 recipes of Child’s 1961 French cooking classic from her small, broken-down apartment in Long Island City, Queens, which she shared with her husband.
The self-deprecating drama of her mishaps and disappointments both in and out of the kitchen struck a chord with a crop of mostly Gen X readers.
The book, based on her successful Julie/Julia Project blog, has sold over 1 million copies
Powell died at age 49 after suffering a cardiac arrest at home in Olivebridge, New York
Meryl Streep, who played Julia Child in the book’s film adaptation, was nominated for an Oscar
The blog received hundreds of thousands of views at a time when many people still used dial-up internet.
Within a year of its launch on Salon.com, it had approximately 400,000 page views and thousands of regular readers.
The book that followed sold more than a million copies, mostly of the paperback version, which was titled Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.
Powell’s project inspired dozens of food bloggers who followed, its template and tone evident in chefs’ later successful web and social media projects, including Dorie Greenspan, Ina Garten, Deb Perelman and Alison Roman.
“I was shocked to learn this morning of the passing of Julie Powell, the original food blogger,” Perelman tweeted Tuesday under the account of her famed social media and cookbook brand, Smitten Kitchen.
“By cooking Julia Child’s books, she made Child relevant to a new generation and wrote about cooking in a fresh, conversational, this-is-my-real tone that was rare at the time.”