Food Writer Who Inspired Julie & Julia Dead at 49

Julie Powell died at home of cardiac arrest
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2022 2:57 AM CDT
Food Writer Who Inspired Julie & Julia Dead at 49
Author Julie Powell attends the premiere of "Julie & Julia" at The Ziegfeld Theatre, in New York, on July 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

Julie Powell, whose Julia Child-inspired cooking quest was first a blog, then a book, then the movie Julie & Julia, died Oct. 26 at her upstate New York home. She was 49. Her husband tells the New York Times Powell's cause of death was cardiac arrest. She had recently tweeted about several health issues, having recently recovered from COVID after getting it early last month only to come down with another illness this month. Her final tweet, posted the day before her death, was about having developed "something that's literally Black Hairy Tongue," which, she noted, her doctor didn't seem too concerned about. Powell started blogging about her quest to cook through Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 2002, during the blogging heyday and just at the beginning of a surge of "popular interest in food, cooking, and chefs," per NYT.

"The internet democratized food writing, and Julie was the new school’s first distinctive voice," says Amanda Hesser, whose Times article about Powell's blog caused interest in it to skyrocket. The Julie/Julia Project, as it was originally known, went on to inspire many similar blogging projects "and helped build the vast modern audience for home cooking on social media," the AP reports. Powell's second and final book, Cleaving, explored her marriage, two extramarital affairs (one hers, one her husband's), and her apprenticeship at a butcher shop. She and her husband, Eric, whom she met while performing in a high school production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, remained married, and she is survived by him, her parents, and her brother. (Another popular blogger/author died at 37 in 2019 after a bout with the flu.)

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