Back in November, Julia and Paul Child's Provence home, which they nicknamed La Pitchoune (the little one), went on the market, and for a brief moment, countless Julia fans day dreamed about moving to the house where Julia's kitchen is still fully intact—tall cabinets, pegboard-covered wall and all.
Makenna Johnston was one of those people. Then, the Paris terror attacks happened and "I started thinking about how Julia Child was a total peacenik," Johnston told Boston Magazine. "She worked for the government, and the best word from back then is she was very democratic. She was very involved in improving communities through food."
Johnston gathered investors and put in a bid on the house, which she will close on next month. She and her wife, Yvonne Johnston, plan to turn the home into "a cooking retreat with excursions in yoga," Johnston says. "The focus is on cooking French food, for sure, and really, on the Julia Child way of cooking: The no-holds barred, 'Look at that omelet!' style of cooking... Our goal is to really take out some of the anxiety that comes with big messes, especially for new-ish cooks."
The pair will start welcoming guests as early as May, but cooking lessons won't start until 2017. When they do, they won't be the first cooking classes in the house. Kathie Alex, who purchased the home in 1993, ran a cooking school there. "It was important to her that it remain a cooking school," says Johnston.
Now, excuse us while we go book our flights to Provence.