Eight home cooks and Julia Child superfans enter Julia's kitchen to kick off the competition. Head judge Antonia Lofaso challenges the cooks to take inspiration from the meal that changed Julia's life and set her on course to changing the culinary world. Then they must make the dish that changed their own lives for Antonia and guest judges Francis Lam and Michael Voltaggio.
Head judge Antonia Lofaso challenges the competitors to honor Julia Child's love for her husband, Paul, by putting their own spin on one of his favorite dishes, coq au vin. Then they must create a dish inspired by a great love in their own lives. Antonia and guest judges Molly Baz and Susan Feniger decide which cook's dishes fall short, sending them home.
The competitors learn about Julia Child's time in France at culinary school. Head judge Antonia Lofaso challenges them to make a souffle using only their hands. Then they must make a two-course French meal, and they're able to use any kitchen tool or gadget. Antonia and guest judges Cliff Crooks and Melissa King choose the winner.
The home cooks learn about Julia Child's early life through challenges inspired by her time working as a spy for the United States during World War II and traveling around the world. First, head judge Antonia Lofaso challenges them to cook with a mother sauce. Then they must make a dish inspired by a country Julia was stationed in overseas. Antonia and guest judges Alvin Cailan and Nilou Motamed send one competitor home.
The home cooks learn about Julia Child's pioneering career in television and face challenges inspired by her show The French Chef. First, head chef Antonia Lofaso challenges them to make a perfect French omelette. Then they must make a dessert inspired by one of Julia's episodes. Antonia and guest judges Stephanie Boswell and Sherry Yard eliminate one competitor.
The final three home cooks face their last challenge in Julia Child's kitchen: preparing a four-course meal of Julia's classics. Head judge Antonia Lofaso asks them to make a croque monsieur, duck a la orange, boeuf bourguignon and a croquembouche. Chef Jacques Pepin makes a surprise appearance, and Antonia and guest judges Dorie Greenspan and Brooke Williamson decide which competitor has earned three months of study at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.