After Walking in Her Hero’s Footsteps, Culinary Arts Student Lives Dream by Winning Julia Child Challenge

A former culinary arts student at BU MET is making a name for herself by following in the footsteps of her culinary idol all the way to the screen, and into the winner’s circle.

Jaíne Mackievicz grew up watching Programs in Food & Wine co-founder and star chef Julia Child teach the world to love to cook on television. Mackievicz too was tall, and after she first saw the outgoing food aficionado Child appear on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, she began to dream of a career like Child’s. Childhood fantasies of cooking onscreen matured into the goal of becoming a food writer, but early in life Mackievicz deferred these dreams, instead following her family’s wishes for a career in Brazil practicing law.

Jaíne Mackievicz
Jaíne Mackievicz of Oceanside makes a recipe on Food Network’s “The Julia Child Challenge” competition series. (Melissa Libertelli)

Everything changed when she and her husband moved to Boston, and Mackievicz joined the very program Julia Child helped to found by enrolling in Culinary Arts classes through the BU food studies programs. She even accomplished her goal of becoming a food writer by penning a magazine piece about her passion for Child.

Mackievicz drew nearer to her lifelong ambitions earlier this year when she was selected to be one of eight contestants on the Food Network’s The Julia Child Challenge—a contest which gave her the opportunity to cook in a near-exact replica of Child’s famous kitchen. “If I think about my past and where I was born, it was so far from being even close to something like this show and being able to cook for a living or write about food for a living,” Mackievicz explains.

Her involvement in the show proved a recipe for success, as Mackievicz was recently named the winner of The Julia Child Challenge, forever tying her to the legacy of her idol. Now, she’s got a new dream: authoring a cookbook of her own.

Read more in the San Diego Union Tribune. To listen to an interview with Mackievicz, visit Cherry Bombe.