(CBS News) Chef Rick Bayless, an award-winning restaurateur and cookbook author, is well-known for his authentic Mexican cooking. But the Oklahoma City native grew to love cooking not from a Mexican chef -- but an American named Julia Child.
Bayless, who has studied in every state in Mexico, began cooking as many have: by watching Child whip up beef bourguignon and chocolate roulade in her TV kitchen.
Child would have celebrated her 100th birthday this Wednesday.
"When I was growing up, I grew up in a barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma City," Bayless said Monday on "CBS This Morning." "My resources were not really great, but she was on television showing me just how great food could be. She showed me how to bring precision to cooking, introduced me to a wide variety of ingredients that I had to scrounge around to find back in the '60s in Oklahoma City. But I did."
"... She's the one that launched me," Bayless said. "She did it obviously vicariously through the television. I am - I feel so privileged to be able to do shows on the same network that she was on, on public television and help bring that kind much knowledge of broad cuisine and delicious well-crafted cooking to a lot of people. ... I fell in love with it. We had a little tiny screen, black-and-white television. Every week when she came on, I would turn it on and I would sit there with a pad and paper and I still have the pad where I would write down all of her recipes. I was just a little kid. But I loved it and I cooked the stuff and my parents let me cook, which is really remarkable, too."