When La Pitchoune, the charming French cottage belonging to beloved American chef Julia Child, went up for sale last November, people got really excited—and for good reason. Built in 1963 on land owned by Simone Beck, Child's best friend and co-author of her seminal book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," the stucco cottage retains its original kitchen, modeled after the one in Child's Massachusetts house. Still sporting extra-tall counters designed to fit Child's 6'2 frame and pegboard walls with original cooking equipment, it's the only private "Julia Child kitchen" left in the world.
Months later, we finally know who will get to inherit all this. According Boston Magazine, the buyer is Makenna Johnston, a Colorado-based business strategist and life coach—and an alumna of Smith College, the Western Massachusetts women's institution where Child graduated from in 1934.
Johnston, who will close on the property next month, recalls being a fan of Child since youth, watching reruns of her show on PBS and trying to imitate her voice. And now, with an unique opportunity at hand, Johnston plans to keep the place focused on cooking, especially of the French kind Child so famously introduced to America.
Before hopping onto the market, the 1,614-square-foot La Pitchoune had operated as an American-run culinary school for the last 23 years. Under Johnston, the place will become a "cooking retreat with excursions in yoga." And there are timelines in place: the retreat will start hosting guests in May, but cooking sessions won't begin until 2017. According to Johnston, the week-long "Courageous Cooking" programs will focus on French cooking, the Julia Child way, which she describes as the "no-holds barred, 'Look at that omelet!' style of cooking." She tells Boston Magazine, "Our goal is to really take out some of the anxiety that comes with big messes, especially for new-ish cooks." Do check out the full story on here.