Julia Child is one of the most beloved culinary icons of the 20th century. Her cooking shows and books, especially Mastering the Art of French Cooking, helped introduce French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American home cook. Julia had a playful and encouraging attitude towards cooking that made her incredibly popular. Even decades after her passing, her wisdom and advice remain timeless. If you want to become a better home cook, letting Julia Child butter up your kitchen is a delicious idea. Here is some of her best wisdom to help you on your culinary journey.

Shop Seasonally and Locally

Julia was a staunch advocate of using fresh, high-quality ingredients. She recommended shopping seasonally and locally whenever possible. Visit farmer’s markets, local grocers, butchers, and fishmongers. Get to know the provenance of your food. Julia said, “In France the food is farm to table within 24 hours.” Follow her lead by sourcing top ingredients from local producers. Your dishes will taste exponentially better.

Invest in Good Equipment

Quality pots, pans, knives, and tools make cooking much more enjoyable. Julia declared, “I recommend getting the best ingredients and then cooking them simply.” Her well-used carbon steel pans were essential to her cooking success. She also valued sharp knives, stating: “A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife because you’re less likely to cut yourself.” Evaluate your equipment and upgrade anything past its prime or that doesn’t function optimally. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Master Basic Cooking Techniques

Julia believed beginning cooks should focus on learning fundamental skills like chopping, sautéing, roasting, braising, and more. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking she breaks down how to execute techniques properly. Julia said: “Once you have learned the basics very well, then follows the pleasure of being creative.” Work on your knife skills, how to brown meat, make pan sauces, cook vegetables perfectly, and bake. These basics are the building blocks for endless tasty dishes.

Learn to Love Garlic and Butter

“I think cooking with butter and garlic smells better than anything else in the world,” Julia proclaimed. She used copious amounts of her two favorite ingredients. Julia said using lots of butter separates French cuisine from leaner cooking styles. Revel in these staples of French food. Infuse your dishes with the rich depth garlic and butter provide. Once comfortable, experiment with other fats like olive oil and animal fats.

Don’t Fear Failure

Even TV chef Julia made her fair share of flops. She advised, however, that mistakes are learning opportunities. Julia said, “If you’re alone in the kitchen, who is going to see? If no one learns of these mistakes, who will criticize?” Failing inspires you to try again wiser. Have fun, laugh at yourself, and keep going. Per Julia: “You’ll never know everything about cooking. Even I don’t know everything about cooking.” Just keep trying!

Organize Your Kitchen

Julia was meticulous about having an organized, functional kitchen. A kitchenset up to cook efficiently avoids frustration. She designated areas for chopping,rinsing, resting. Ensure you have sufficient space and keep tools accessible. Julia said, “Having everything in place enables you to concentrate on what really counts—cooking.” Declutter so you can chef unencumbered.

Cook Fearlessly

Home cooks can be intimidated attempting Julia’s recipes. She proclaimed, however, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Cooking shouldn’t fill you with dread. Think of it as an experiment. Julia said, “Once you have mastered a technique, you barely have to look at the recipe again.” Try that souffle! You can nail any dish with practice.

Enjoy the Process

For Julia, cooking was a pleasure, not a chore. She believed maintaining delight in the kitchen was key for home cooks. She said, “I enjoy cooking and above all, I enjoy eating!” Cooking should make you happy from start to finish. Savor the aromas, tastes, and your finished feast. Julia reminded us: “The only real cuisine is a happy cuisine.”

Believe in Yourself

Julia Child empowers us to have faith in our abilities, even if we’re beginners. She knew anyone could cook with “confidence, control and enjoyment.” She said, “In spite of the amazing spread of cooking information, most everyone still secretly wonders: Do I dare serve this meal?” The answer is YES, you do! “If you follow my instructions,” Julia declared, “you will cook well.” Now get your apron on!

Julia Child’s teachings have stood the test of time. Implement her wisdom as you traverse your culinary journey. Shop seasonal ingredients. Learn basic techniques. Organize your kitchen. Cook without fear. And above all, believe in yourself and enjoy it. Julia reminds us: “You’ll get better every single time you cook.” So let Julia butter up your kitchen until it’s perfectly seasoned. Bon appetit!