Property Grunt

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Regarding Julia

The Undercover Cook.

A friend was making a big deal about this article about Julia Child was a spy. First of all this is old news. It was a well known fact that Julia Child worked for OSS during WWII as it is indicated in this interview she you can see on this link. In fact she became enamored with the idea of being a cook when she was stationed in China and experienced Chinese Cuisine for the first time. This interview will provide further details.

The fact she was a spy during World War II doesn't surprise me. America had to use every resource at their disposal and besides the Navy, who would turn down Julia Child to fight for God and Country? What will probably surprise a lot of you was that Julia was probably on the job for Langley using her culinary credentials as a NOC, well after World War II and into the Cold War.

The following is a fascinating story about Julia Child that I heard from of all places at a showing for a townhouse.

Not long ago I was showing an exclusive listing on the upper east side which was a mixed use building with a restaurant on the ground floor and rental apartments. For some unknown reason, the owner decided to decided to gut renovate all the apartments and turn it into a home for a family.

It proved to be a challenge to show the building due to all the construction. What also did not help was the fact that the owner had an asking price that was exorbitant even at the standards at the height of the bubble.

I was waiting with the contractor who was to give me access to the building who happened to be a large friendly fellow. Although was well into his years could easily hold his own in a bar brawl. I noticed he wore a cap with the Marine insignia which I asked about. With great pride he acknowledged he had served in the corps and told me a captivating tale about one of his missions.

Back in the 60's he was stationed in Berlin where he worked as an asset for the American Embassy. This was the height of the Cold War so I have no doubt he was probably put in some very stressful situations. He told me that one of his missions in Berlin was to serve as a bodyguard for Julia Child. He conducted this mission from a surreptitious distance to ensure she was not in harm's way while preserving her cover. After all, having a large Marine strapped to your side is going to bring a lot of unneeded attention to yourself.

On that particular mission he spotted a hostile party that was approaching Julia Child. I assume this individual was not interested in sharing recipes with her but had other sinister intentions for the great gourmet. This of course was something the contractor could not allow.

I'll spare you the details but let's just say the contractor put a very sudden and permanent end to the hostile party's career in Wet Work.

A couple of years before Ms. Child's passing, he saw her at a bar at a well known restaurant, dining with another party. He had a drink sent to her with a vague message about Berlin. Upon receiving the drink and his message, she got up from her table, walked over to him and hugged him. According to the contractor, she remembered what had occurred and thanked him for acting as her protector.

Is this story true? Well first of all I would never doubt the word of a Marine, former or otherwise. And it was a well known fact that she worked with the OSS and we now have evidence that she was more than just a file clerk during her tenure. It is possible that the DCI at the time saw an opportunity in furthering Julia Child's career in espionage.

Unfortunately, the Company is not in the habit of opening up their employment records for past, present and future employees. On a side note, this is something that Steven Seagal exploited by strongly alluding to ties with the Company, most likely imaginary, which could neither be confirmed nor denied.

So there is no discernible proof that she was still working as a NOC in some capacity. However under the scope of circumstance, it would actually make perfect sense for her to be under a NOC even after becoming famous.

Her occupation required her to do an extensive amount of traveling around the world. She could get into places no other clandestine operative could because of her occupation and also because of her fame. Beside being the most respected figure in the culinary arts, she was a very endearing and charming woman which I am sure were useful skills in bringing the guard down of the most hardened adversary. In the eye of the general public, she would never have given a cause for suspicion. As the cliche goes, often the best hiding place is the one out in the open.

And even if they did know who she was, I am sure that parties with hostile intentions probably decided against sanctioning her because of the massive s**tstorm that would ensue. I mean what sane person would want to whack Julia Child? Also it would be pointless to even try as demonstrated by that contractor.

Perhaps if we wait another 60 years, more files will be declassified to shed light on this matter.