Julie & Julia Writer Julie Powell's Death Has The Food World Shaken

Julie Powell, the iconic blogger behind The Julie/Julia Project, has died at age 49. The news comes as a shock to many in the food world given her incredible legacy in the food media industry. Her husband Eric shared with The New York Times that Powell passed away from cardiac arrest in their home on October 26, 2022.

A Texas native, Powell graduated from Amherst College with a bachelor's degree in theater and fiction writing, but started working what she dubbed a dead-end job — one which did anything but allow her to flex her creative muscles as a writer. Luckily, things changed when she turned to an object of her youth, Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," for inspiration.

In a Q&A for Oprah.com, Powell shared that the book had always been a fascinating object in her life, but it was only in her adulthood — the brink of 30, to be exact — that she circled back to it. After feverishly reading the text every night like a storybook, she decided to channel her frustration into a new project. She would chronicle her journey as she cooked her way through all 524 recipes from Child's book, and she'd do it in the span of a year, per The New York Times. Captivating thousands, Powell was forced to push past any food aversions, scour supermarkets for proper ingredients, master complex techniques, and spend hours in the kitchen in a story that was far too interesting not to share.

Leaving a legacy that won't be forgotten

Laying the groundwork for many other home cooks and chefs alike, Powell's blog may not have been the first food blog, but it was one of the first to captivate such a wide audience. Reading much like an uncensored diary, the Los Angeles Times reports that the writer-turned-curious-cook shared the ups and downs of her culinary feat in a relatable and humorous way. Moreover, Powell was able to introduce the cumbersome (and sometimes intimidating) text to a newer, younger generation in an intriguing way.

The blog quickly landed Powell a book deal, "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen," per The New York Times, which was later shortened to "Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously." Her incredible journey even inspired a major motion picture, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, called "Julie & Julia."

In addition to the success of shadowing the work of Child, Powell published another book, "Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession," sharing her experiences into butchery along with life. Given her incredible literary contributions both online and in print, Powell has captivated and inspired many home cooks and professionals in the food world, leaving a legacy that will remain indefinitely.