My lunch with Julia Child

A couple of years before Julia Childs passed away, I was invited to join her at a luncheon hosted by my friend Zov Karamardian, who is the chef/owner of Zov’s in Southern California, to celebrate her 90th birthday. It was a relatively small event–maybe 20 of us–and for some reason, I was seated next to Julia, though there were many more illustrious guests at the table. Here’s what I remember: Dean Koontz, the celebrated author, stood up just as the first course was served and began to make a very sincere if rather long-winded speech in tribute to Julia. We all sat patiently at the table with our hands folded in our laps. Except for Julia. Who, five or six minutes into the tribute, leaned her large beefy head towards me and whispered, “This could go on forever…I’m going to eat!” And while Mr. Koontz continued to walk us through Julia’s illustrious history, the object of his adulation ignored him completely and dug into her grilled shrimp with mint and cilantro pesto. Mr. Koontz was still droning on when Julia pushed her empty starter plate to the side and looked around the room trying to get the attention of the waiter to pour her a second glass of wine.

Ah, Julia.

According to a lovely story in the Los Angeles Times, Julia Child, who would have been 100 years old today, was the single most searched for term on Google this morning. I love that. I’m not sure she would have. It’s not that she would have disliked it; I just don’t think she would have cared one way or another. It would have been like having to go to a luncheon in your honor and then sit there while your food got cold while people talked about you. For Julia, it was always about the food. “Cooking, cooking, keep on cooking. This is the way to live.” Bon appetit, Julia.




1 comment

  1. kimjansma’s avatar

    Thank you for this anecdote about one of my favorite women – Julia Child! It’s just the way I would like to imagine her reacting to personal adulation. Her interested was in promoting fine cooking and eating – not herself!

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