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Julie Powell, food blogger whose story inspired Meryl Streep’s film ‘Julie & Julia’, dies at 49

Julie Powell – the writer who chronicled a year of cooking through Julia Child’s recipes Master the art of French cuisineleading to a popular food blog, and later a biopic starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep – who died last week at her home in upstate New York.

Her husband said The New York Times Tuesday that Powell had died of cardiac arrest. She was 49 years old.

A 29-year-old administrative worker in lower Manhattan at the time, Powell began her journey with Julia Child in 2002, starting a blog called the Julie/Julia Project as she attempted to whip up the hundreds of dishes in the cookbook. Child’s lighthouse from 1961.

“I had no idea what it was going to do for me when I started,” she told The Associated Press in 2009. “It was really kind of a personal project to cut out a piece of my day-to-day existence, just for me, that gave me a creative outlet so the rest of my life wouldn’t feel so mind-numbing.

Her first article, published on August 25, read: “Government drone by day, renegade foodie by night… Julie Powell was looking for a challenge… she signed on for a deranged mission. 365 days. 536 recipes. A girl and a shitty kitchen from the outer district.

She quickly developed a devoted following unusual for her size on the internet at first, blogging with sarcastic wit and brutal honesty as she described the culinary battles she waged from her tiny loft in Long Island City.

She turned the success of the project into a 2005 memoir, Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 small apartment kitchen. This in turn inspired the 2009 film Julia and Juliawhich starred Adams as a disgruntled Powell and Streep as a growing kid in a split-timeline story.