The #JuliaChildChallenge: Can You Make a French Omelette in Just 14 Seconds?

updated Apr 8, 2020
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One of the appeals of Julia Child’s cooking, whether in her book or on the screen (reminder, you can watch those online right now), is how simple and easy it seems to be to follow her instructions. But sometimes looks can be deceiving, found New York Times food editor Emily Fleischaker last week. After watching Julia make the classic French omelette in just 14 seconds from start to finish, Emily tried her own hand at it — then challenged everyone else to give it a try, too.

“You’re about to see a French omelette being made,” she says in the video. Then moments later, she says, “you’ve just seen a French omelette being made.” To get it done so fast, she’s already got about a tablespoon of butter heated in a pan over high heat, making sure that the butter is melted and rolled all around the surface. She also has the eggs ready: two eggs, whisked together with salt and pepper.

You have to be sure your butter and pan are good and hot — the butter should foam, then when it subsides, start the clock and pour the eggs into the pan, shaking it to spread the eggs over the bottom. Then let it sit for a few seconds to make a solid layer before you begin jerking the pan toward you to fold them on themselves, repeating the movement until they are all rolled up. Toss the omelette so it’s right at the far edge of the pan, then roll it right onto the plate. Your 14 seconds are up, but let it sit for a minute to set before you dig in so it sets.

Since Emily posted the video and challenged friends to do the same, it’s traveled around Instagram, with food media folks like Barrett Washburn and chefs like Amanda Freitag taking it on. So, taking up Emily’s challenge, can you make an omelette in 14 seconds? Either way, post it on Instagram with the hashtag #JuliaChildChallenge — and then pick a few friends you’d like to see try.