In recent years, the Food Network has captured the imagination of Americans and the art and love of cooking has transcended from "women's work" to a hobby and passion for both men and women throughout the country. But, before there was Rachel, Emeril or Paula, a tall, gangly woman with a preposterous voice and joy of life revolutionized the art of cooking for Americans. In the 1960's, it was Julia Child who brought her love of French cooking to the American public. She became an icon of gourmet cooking and, using her remarkable energy and humor, convinced Americans that anyone could create gourmet meals. The First Lady of Food, as she has been called by the Food Network, charmed the American public and the world with her joy of life and her passion for good food. Her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she co-authored with two other women, has become a classic and her acclaimed series, The French Chef, began a TV career that spanned three decades and earned her and the Peabody award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Throughout her life, she supported new efforts in the culinary world, such as the American Institute of Food and Wine, and encouraged new talent on the food scene, particularly women. She left an indelible mark on both the culinary world and the entertainment industry. When she died two days before her 92nd birthday in 2004, after complications of a stroke and kidney failure, the world mourned for this joyful and ebullient woman, who wished us from the kitchen counter on the set of her television show, "Bon Appétit!"