A food blogger who inspired the 2009 film Julie & Julia has died at the age of 49.
Julie Powell became an internet sensation after setting herself a challenge to make every recipe in Julia Child’s book, Mastering The Art of French Cooking.
Her challenge led to a book deal and a blockbuster movie starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep.
Powell died of cardiac arrest at her home in upstate New York – and friends have described her as a “brilliant writer and a daring, original person”.
Her editor Judy Clain said: “We are sending our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Julie, whether personally or through the deep connections she forged with readers of her memoirs.”
After writing her hit 2005 memoir Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, Powell appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and The Martha Stewart Show.
She went on to write for The New York Times, Bon Appétit and Food & Wine and won the James Beard Award twice.
Powell was also presented with an honorary degree from Le Cordon Blue in Paris, the school Julia Child attended in 1950.
In 2009, Powell released her second book, entitled Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession, in which she revealed she had an affair.
It also delved into her pain of loving two men at once, her fondness for sadomasochism and even a bout of self-punishing sex with a stranger.
She began her affair in 2004 as she was putting the finishing touches on her first book.
By 2006, Powell had landed an apprenticeship at a butcher shop, and she explained in her book that her experience of slicing meat actually resulted in her eating less of it.
As a result, she became an advocate for humanely raised and slaughtered animals for human consumption.
Powell is survived by her husband, Eric.