|The world-renowned chef Julia Child did not start cooking until she was in her 30s, discovering French cuisine several years later, when her husband Paul Child, a foreign service officer, was reassigned to Paris, where she began taking classes at the Cordon Bleu cooking school. "I'd been looking for my life's work all along," she said of this experience. "And when I got into cooking I found it." During her Paris years, she met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, her future collaborators on the influential two-volume MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. In the 1960s and '70s, Child launched the American craze for good cooking, primarily through her TV program, THE FRENCH CHEF. She was 6'2", hefty, and famously messy in the kitchen; her droll, comfortable persona, and the casualness with which she imparted the techniques of French cuisine, took the mystery out of the subject, and her admirers numbered in the millions. She was the author of numerous books on all aspects of cooking; she also hosted many other television shows, collaborated with celebrated chefs, and over a long career held onto her position as America's favorite cook. In 2000, she was awarded a medal of the Legion of Honor by the French government. In 2001, she moved from Cambridge, her longtime home, to California--for the weather, she said. Julia Child died in her sleep at the age of 92, in an assisted living facility north of Los Angeles. A posthumously published autobiography, MY LIFE IN FRANCE, shared how her love of French food transformed into a trend-setting career.