Speed Reads

rest in peace

Julie and Julia writer Julie Powell dies at 49

Food writer Julie Powell, whose blog about cooking recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking led to a book and movie, died on Oct. 26 at her home in upstate New York. She was 49.

Powell's husband, Eric Powell, told The New York Times the cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Powell launched her blog, called the Julie/Julia Project, in 2002 before her 30th birthday, at a time when she felt unfulfilled with her administrative job. She decided to cook the 524 recipes in Child's 1961 cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1 over the course of a year, and wrote about everything from tracking down the ingredients to the frustration she felt when things went wrong. Powell did not have any formal training, and her honest writing brought her a devoted fanbase.

"She wrote about food in a really human voice that sounded like people I know," Smitten Kitchen writer Deb Perelman told the Times. "She communicated that you could write about food even without going to culinary school, without much experience, and in a real-life kitchen."

After landing a deal with Little, Brown & Company, Powell turned the blog into a book titled Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, which was renamed Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously for the paperback edition. This led to the movie Julie & Julia, written and directed by Nora Ephron and starring Amy Adams as Powell and Meryl Streep as Child. Powell's second and final book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, came out in 2009.

Powell is survived by her husband, parents John and Kay Foster, and brother Jordon Foster.