James Beard, for whom the prestigious culinary award is named, starred in television’s first cooking show, I Love to Eat, in 1946. But there weren’t a lot of TV sets in homes then, so it wasn’t until Julia Child premiered The French Chef in 1963 that America really fell in love with watching cooking. Despite a possible bit of jealousy between them, Beard was a fan who championed the show. And when Child returned to the U.S., he threw her a huge party and the two became besties. Both over six feet tall, and both with somewhat funny voices, the duo had more in common than just food. They gave each other the nickname Jiji, for Julia and Jim.
Source, Alley Hector for Advocate.