Sunday, August 17, 2008

Was Her Whisk a Transmitter?

Maybe so.

After it was disclosed this past week that Julia Child (1912 — 2004) operated briefly as a spy for the U.S., E! Online decided to run this poll asking visitors to guess "which other TV chefs might be cooking up a side dish of espionage." Cute.

The more I thought about it, I can see how chefs could make good spies. Chefs (pro or amateur) are focused on precision. They have to be mindful of precise details — the quality of ingredients, what gets added when and how, etc. Good spywork is also about precise details — specifically what someone said, who they met, what they were wearing, what time they left, etc.

Like any good spy, Julia Child certainly embraced technology. During one of her TV programs in the 1960s, she urged her viewers to "use the electric mixer and go whole hog." That's telling 'em.

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