Julie Powell, the food writer best known for her hit memoir “Julie & Julia,” passed away, her publisher said Tuesday. She was 49.
“‘Julie & Julia’ became an instant classic and it is with gratitude for her unique voice that we will now remember Julie’s dazzling brilliance and originality,” Judy Clain, editor-in-chief of Little, Brown and Company, said in a statement to NBC. News.
“We mourn her loss with her husband Eric and her family. We extend our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Julie, either personally or through the deep bonds she forged with the readers of her memoirs. She was a brilliant writer. and a bold, original person and she will not be forgotten.”
Her husband, Eric Powell, told the New York Times the cause was cardiac arrest.
Powell’s “Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously”, released in 2005 and based on a series of her blog posts, was a bestseller. It chronicles a one-year journey where she cooked all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s classic cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
Powell, nearly 30 and working as a secretary at the time, felt uninspired and decided to take her mother’s book and try the recipes in her small kitchen in New York City.
The book was adapted into the popular 2009 film “Julie & Julia”, starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as Powell. Directed by Nora Ephron, the film weaves Powell’s cooking journey with Child’s as they make their start in the culinary world.
Since arriving on the literary scene, Powell has appeared on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and “The Martha Stewart Show.” She has written for the New York Times, Bon Appétit and Food and Wine and has twice won the James Beard Award.
Powell also received an honorary doctorate from Le Cordon Blue in Paris, the school Julia Child attended in 1950.
Powell leaves behind her husband, her brother and her parents.