What do you call a birthday celebration for a beloved, but dead person? There’s got to be a German compound noun for that, right?
No matter what you call it, Julia Child’s 100th birthday is coming up on Wednesday, August 15, and I can’t think of a more universally beloved culinary figure. Her enthusiasm, fearlessness and straight up joie de vivre changed American cooks and kitchens forever. And that laugh! Watch old episodes of The French Chef to travel back to the land before Kitchen Stadium, the Food Network and celebrity chefs. Julia got Americans to drink wine with dinner, buy stinky, oozy cheeses and make bouillabaisse. There are no cuts in the early episode, just all one long, sometimes difficult take. She’s not pat or polished, she’s just delightful.
If you’re feeling stuck in your life or your career, read My Life in France, about her years in Europe with her husband, Paul Child. She didn’t even START cooking French food, or really anything, until she was 35.
If you’re not feeling like cooking up some coq au vin or tripes a la mode in your apartment in August, you can celebrate Julia’s life and letters at the powerHouse arena next Wednesday from 7 to 9pm. There will be wine (of course), snacks, a bake off, foodie trivia and appearances from Tamar E. Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal; Dave Crofton from One Girl Cookies; Matt Lewis from Baked; Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen; and Alyssa Shelasky, author of Apron Anxiety.
We have book packages–one copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a copy of Dearie, a new Julia biography by Bob Spitz and a randomly selected book by one of the foodie participants in the event to give away to five lucky readers. Just go to this Facebook post and caption the above photo. The best ones will win.