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The fictional comedic drama is based on the famous chef's stint as an agent in the Office of Strategic Services.

Elisabeth Sherman
August 15, 2017

It is Julia Child’s birthday, the woman who brought French cooking to America and who, if you didn't grow up watching her on PBS, you should at the very least recognize as the sassy American chef Meryl Streep played in Julie & Julia.

Child became an iconic staple in American kitchens after her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, came out in 1961, but before she was launched to fame as one of America’s first celebrity chefs, Child was basically a spy.

Yes, it’s true. During the World War II, Child worked for the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA, as a typist, after finding out that she was too tall to join the Women’s Army Corps.

ABC Signature, the cable and digital division of ABC Studios, has picked up on that epic history, buying an hour-long pilot script for a new series called Julia, which takes inspiration from her experiences as an agent for the OSS. This fictional take on Child’s life imagines what would happen if, taking advantage of her celebrity status, the CIA pulled the chef back into active duty as a spy.

The show’s writer, Benjamin Brand said that he got the idea for the show from watching Child’s PBS special Cooking for the C.I.A. 

"I was disappointed when I learned that in this case, the C.I.A. stood for the Culinary Institute of America,” Brand said, according to a report from Deadline. “Cooking Secrets of the Central Intelligence Agency always seemed like a more interesting show to me. Many years later, when I read a biography of Julia Child and learned about her experiences during World War II, working for the Office of Strategic Services—the precursor to the C.I.A.—the story of Julia quickly fell into place.”

There’s no word yet on whether or not the series will actually be made, just that ABC has the script in hand. But a show on this famous chef’s secret career as a spy sounds like something we’d definitely tune in to see. Murder, She Roasted?

In the meantime, you can watch Julia's best TV moments or cook some of her best recipes to live out your own version of the famous chef's amazing life.