Friday, August 14, 2009

julia child

Linda took me to see "Julie and Julia" last night as a belated birthday gift. I loved every minute and even snapped this photo of Meryl with my iPhone.

It made me think of years ago when I joined IACP and went to my first conference alone. I planned all of my outfits, packed them into my suitcase and off I went. I knew only a handful of people in the food business at that point and I was excited and scared all at the same time. When I saw Jacques Pepin (now a friend) and Julia Child for the first time, I nearly fainted.

All by myself, I remember walking into the very first luncheon that first day of the conference. The room was packed with people. I searched the room for someone I might know but couldn't find a soul. Terror!!! "Get ahold of yourself! You can do it!" I said to myself as I sat in one of the unoccupied chairs at a table with a bunch of complete strangers. They all seemed so important and I was just a young cooking teacher from San Francisco.

Suddenly behind me, there was a very familiar voice, "Is this chair taken?' As I turned around, it was Julia and she was talking to ME! "No," I said, trying to act calm as I swallowed wrong and almost choked on dried-out conference-chicken! "And how are you?" she said as she sat down. We introduced ourselves (like she needed an introduction!) and talked as we ate. I'd grown up in Northampton, Massachusetts which is where she went to college, and my mother cooked for years with her college roommate and dear friend, Charlotte Turgeon, so we had much to talk about. But I hardly ate a thing!

The next day I saw Julia again in the hallway. I smiled at her and said, Hi Julia, how are you?" thinking she'd never remember me. She said "No Joanne, how are YOU?"

I loved how Julia had a wonderful knack for always giving more than she would ever take!


Cindy H said...

Oh, this was a terrific story. For some reason, I've accidentally been reading memories from people about Julia Child, and I think this is such a great one! 'Julia & Julia' has really debuted at the perfect time! Who else but Meryl Streep could capture her.
Thank you for posting this wonderful memory! You made me sincerely feel your shock when she sat beside you!
Cindy H
Brown Sugar

Meadow said...

Such a lovely memory for you. Thank you for allowing us to walk a moment in your shoes and feel the kindness and warmth you experienced with Ms Julia Child. How glorious for you to be in her presence and know that she saw you and listened.

The Italian Dish said...

What a nice story. And what a class act she was.

Cathy S. said...

Want a wonderful story! I actually went out and bought Volume 1 of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and made the stuffed tomatoes and Quiche Lorraine. My husband was boasting for days on how good they were. I also bought Julia's "My Life in France" and read it every minute that I have. I remember watching her as a teenager and would try and catch epsiodes of her and Jacque Pepin on the local PBS station. I always found her amazing! Another cookbook that I have is "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home." It gives you two different perspectives on how to cook a number of recipes.

Michelle said...

Wasn't the movie just wonderful?? My mom and I went to see it recently and absolutely loved it. And on a similar note, I stumbled across a recipe of yours that someone had posted on their blog. I commented that it sounded wonderful and that I had the pleasure of taking a cooking class from you in SF (when you did the Four Seasons class with Jeremy (I think was his name?). Anyway, I became somewhat of a discussion piece because of how lucky I was to take a class from you. It truly was one of the coolest things I have ever done!!

Linda said...

Glorious days ahead for the both of you ,you made a beautiful bride and your instant family is lucky to share in those great dishes that you have been teaching viewers like me .Happiness always Linda .