In scouring the Paris markets for inspiration, she would interact with vendors collecting their cooking advice along with the ingredients. When she began to lack direction she poured her energy into courses at Le Cordon Bleu, a prestigious French cooking school with uppity management. She escaped being pigeon holed with the wives playing house and enrolled in professional courses that gave her the skills to begin methodical experiments with sauces and meats.
Her husband in a letter wrote, “Lipstick on my belly button and music in the air—thaat’s Paris…What a lovely city…What white poodles and white chimneys, what charming waiters…and gardens and bridges and streets! How fascinating the crowds before one’s café table, how quaint and charming and hidden the little courtyards…Those garlic-filled belches! Those mascara’d eyelashes! Those electric switches and toilet chains that never work! Hola! Dites donc! Bouillabaisse! Au revoir!”
In a simple twist of fate, Julia and Paul were brought to Paris where he served as a liaison between the French and American art worlds. He introduced Julia to all things French from the winding countryside to the experience of dining on elaborate meals served in courses and paired with wine. In her book My Life in France, Julia recounts her ascent in the kitchen which began with her love of French food.