Julia Child's Heirs Battle Oven Maker

By Kate Schwartz, Newser Staff

Julia Child was many things -- celebrated chef, author, TV star -- but there was one thing she certainly wasn't: a shill. "It was sort of a life philosophy that she had," explains her great-nephew.

Which is why Child never pushed a certain roast pan, a brand of olive oil, or even, notes the Los Angeles Times, cookbooks written by her own friends. And it's fueling a big stink between her heirs and Thermador, the manufacturer of the appliances she used on TV and in her home.

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The LAT explains that Thermador this year launched a campaign, created without the OK of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, that trumpets Child's use of their products (one magazine ad captioned "An American Icon and Her American Icons" shows the chef with two Thermador ovens). The foundation demanded Thermador ax the campaign in July and threatened a lawsuit.

Thermador dropped the ads from its site, but its parent company last week filed a suit of its own: It wants a judge to declare that it can rightfully use the Child-Thermador connection, claiming that it's not an endorsement but an indication of the "influence of Thermador products on American society and culture." The foundation filed a suit of its own on Monday.

--Written by Kate Schwartz of Newser