Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, 1951

Julia Child received this diploma in March 1951, a full year after completing her course of study at Le Cordon Bleu, the esteemed culinary school in Paris. It is signed by both Chef Max Bugnard, Julia’s cooking teacher, and Madame Elisabeth Brassart, the school’s director, who was responsible for the long delay in awarding the diploma.
In 1949, Julia enrolled in the 10-month program at Le Cordon Bleu, along with eleven American veterans who wanted to become professional chefs. The U.S. Government paid the veterans’ tuition and, by virtue of her work for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the war, Julia’s tuition was covered as well. As the only woman in her class, Julia was a rarity, but she threw herself into the training and carried out the rigorous work, completing the program in 1950. Because of ill will between Madame Brassart and Julia, however, the diploma was not awarded until a year later and after the intervention of Max Bugnard. Julia Child went on to become America’s influential and beloved cooking teacher, cookbook author, and television chef.
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
glass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 15 9/16 in x 20 1/2 in x 9/16 in; 39.52875 cm x 52.07 cm x 1.42875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
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Home and Community Life: Occupations
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Julia Child

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