Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. There are so many things to say about Julia Child and with a quick look on the internet today you can read just about all of them. If for some reason you hadn’t noticed, Julia was a very tall, extroverted but humble woman who spoke many languages, enjoyed people and made a career for herself that didn’t start until her 40’s. She changed the way the U.S. cooked.
I just completed the book “As Always, Julia” which is a collection of letters between she and Avis DeVito. Avis was her pen pal, confidant and publishing proxy while Julia and partners were writing their landmark book (s). It is a remarkable insight into both personalities and an unexpected glimpse at the politics of the day as seen through the lenses of two very articulate, intelligent and very well connected individuals. I promise that you will savor these letters as much as her boeuf bourguignon.
I am rarely impressed by celebrity. It’s not that I don’t like people who are celebrities. I just don’t particularly care if other people know or like them. Because I am in the film music business and travel in both the world of film and music, I have known a few. They are people that I work with and I respect them for that. I also don’t envy anyone who is constantly recognized. I once walked through an airport with Eric Clapton and saw first hand what that is like. No thank you. But, there a few people in this world that I would cross the street to meet even though I don’t know them. It’s even better if I don’t have to wait for the light.
Around 1985 I was working in San Rafael, California. My friend and colleague Curtis and I went to lunch one day at a funny little Italian restaurant very near where we worked. It was in a brick one story building in the midst of a light industrial complex, off the beaten path. The restaurant was pretty large and often empty at lunch. The food was exceptional and I soon learned why. We were seated in the virtually empty restaurant next to two older women. Soon, the chef (and later I discovered, co-owner) came out and addressed the older woman to my right. Alice Waters – in full chef’s regalia – greeted Ms. Julia Child and her guest. I knew that I was in the presence of greatness. I barely spoke and watched every bite that Julia enjoyed. So, all of these years later, I have to admit that I was Julia Child’s up-close stalker, well at least for that lunch. My brush with greatness!
- 2 Medium Eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Red Pepper, finely chopped
- Calamata Olives, halved (for garnish)
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Baguette, sliced and toasted
- Chef’s Knife
- Sauté Pan
- Chop all of your vegetables to about the same size.
- In a sauté pan, heat about a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
- Gently sauté the garlic and onion. You cannot use too much garlic in this dish.
- Salt and Pepper as you go.
- Add the peppers.
- Finally add the eggplant and sauté until it is soft.
- Take off the flame and let sit for a few minutes while you slice and toast the bread.
- Serve on toasted baguette with a single half of olive on top.