Late last year we reported that Julia Child’s French home was up for sale. Now, unfortunately for those who were unable to enter the bidding war, the property has been snapped up by a lucky buyer.
Growing up, life coach and fellow Smith College attendee, Makenna Johnston, used to watch reruns on PBS of Julia Child’s.
A resident of Colorado, Johnston and her family made almost biannual trips to France. When she stumbled across the property listing in a New York Times article she was instantly entranced.
“I saw the article, and I felt like I need this house, but I thought, that’s not going to happen,” Johnston told Boston Magazine.
But as fate would have it, tragedy brought the dream closer to reality. As Johnston and her family were sitting down to eat that night, they heard the devastating news about the Paris bombings.
“When [that] happened, I started thinking about how Julia Child was a total peacenik. 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 says.
It was this image of her childhood hero that acted as the catalyst for Johnston’s push to purchase the country house.
Johnston, a business strategist and life coach, and her wife – who recently left a full-time military career were searching for a new purpose in life, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
With a few investors and family members on board, the house that julia built, soon became theirs.
Wanting to keep the tradition of the home alive, Johnston said that they were determined to do justice to Child’s legacy. So La Pitchoune has become “a cooking retreat with excursions in yoga.” It “will be a home base for a center on culinary exploration, peace, and community,” she shared with the Smith College community.
“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,” Johnston says. “Our goal is to really take out some of the anxiety that comes with big messes, especially for new-ish cooks.”
“Our goal is to bring good cooking back. So many people spend so much money and time going out to eat. If you can bring it back into the home and entertaining, it’s a very different life.”
Would you like to visit?