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August 13, 2004

Au revoir French Chef!

I was saddened to learn today that Julia Child passed away. I have literally been watching Julia Child since I was in a high chair. Besides "This Old House", her various series are the only television shows I've continued watch my entire lifetime. I've never missed an episode. She taught me to appreciate what is good about food and that its not difficult to cook things from scratch.

Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting and talking a bit with Julia Child. It was shear luck. I just happened to be visiting Boston and shopping at the Prudential Center. Never missing an opportunity to browse a Williams Sonoma I went in expecting to see some new cooking gadgets and maybe taste a new brand of olive oil or balsamic vinegar. Instead I was shocked to see Julia Child smiling at me as I walked in! I had to take a double take. I couldn't believe it was really her.

She was there, sitting at a table in the front of store for a book signing. But even more shocking than seeing her there, was realizing that there wasn't a long line of people waiting. In fact, I don't recall there being more than one or two people in the entire store besides the staff. I greedily grabbed a copy of her new book and a few of her others, which I already owned but wanted a signed copy of, and rushed over to her to get them signed. I must have looked like a crazed fan or something. She laughed and said, "Don't worry it looks like I'll have plenty of time to sign all of these."

I was proud to tell her that I've been watching her since I was two years old and I never missed a show. She smiled and said, "You exaggerate?" I then explained how interested she made me in cooking and that I even started cooking with my Mom at a very young age partly because of how enjoyable and rewarding she made cooking look. I told her that one of the first dishes I chose to make on my own was her brick oven pizza. I recalled to her how I even insisted to my mom that we get some bricks like she used on the show. Julia laughed again and said "oh yes, I remember that one."

Julia asked what I look to cook now and I explained that when I have time to cook I mostly make soups, herb roasted chicken, chicken marsala. or bolognese sauce (I thought I already typed this one on the board). I also told her that I love making boeuf bourguignonne or château briand with bearnaise sauce when I have guests over. She wanted to know how I prepare each and listened intently, commenting on every step. It was like being on her show, "In Julia's Kitchen."

This was an unreal opportunity for me to speak with her and talk about food, recipes, and cooking. I'll never forget it and will continue to watch shows again and again. Hopefully they will be repeated for a long time to come. No matter how many times you have seen one, its still enjoyable and enlightening.

Salute Julia, I raise this glass of wine to you! Thanks and Bon Appetit!

Posted in Today's Headlines by usrbingeek at 2004-08-13 19:50 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink



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