Friday, August 13, 2004

Adieu, Julia

ABC News has a wonderful obituary for Julia Child.

I met her in 1980 when the Meriden Record-Journal assigned me to write about a local chef (from Wallingford, Connecticut) who'd been asked to cook lunch for Julia Child while she rehearsed for a show at Long Wharf Theater in New Haven. I arrived at the theater and was given the brush-off by a snotty young theater employee who left me to cool my heels in the darkened lobby. Suddenly a door flew open and very tall woman peered into the lobby--it could only be Julia Child. I identified myself and explained I was there not to bother her but to write about the local chef. "Marvelous!" she whooped, putting her arm around me and ushering me into the theater. She had a kitchen set up on-stage, and her husband was sitting on a stool, reading the newspaper. Child hustled me backstage to a corner where the local guy and his assistant were freneticly attempting to prepare an elaborate lunch for America's most famous chef on a small table using a couple of electric frying pans.

"Oh, it's going to be wonderful," Child assured all of us. And it was.

Here's a story about all the folks visiting the Julia Child kitchen exhibit (her actual Cambridge, Mass., kitchen) at the Smithsonian to pay tribute to her.

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