Julia Child's Mastering The Art Of French Cooking and entertaining television specials made fine cuisine from France accessible to a generation of home cooks this side of the Atlantic.
Her culinary legacy isn't just celebrated by domestic gods and goddesses. Detroit fine dining restaurant 24 Grille, located downtown in the Westin Book Cadillac hotel, is honoring what would have been Child's 101st birthday (Aug. 15) with a seven-course prix fixe meal.
The "Julia 101" tasting event, conceived by 24 Grille Executive Chef Clifton Booth and Director of Event Sales & Marketing Tara Grey, is an inventive riff on a dream menu from the famed culinary doyenne herself. Tickets are $100 for seven courses, wine pairings and a cocktail hour preceding dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 15. Call (313) 964-3821 to make a reservation.
In an interview Child gave her biographer Noel Riley Fitch, published in Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child, she described her ideal menu for her last supper. While Chef Booth largely based his menu on her choices, his limited access to Child's favorite wines forced the pair to improvise.
"We are taking the dishes that she loved so much, and preparing them the way that Chef Booth would prepare them for her -- had he had the chance," Grey told The Huffington Post.
So while we're pretty sure bacon-infused vodka wasn't in Child's liquor cabinet, we have a feeling she would have tossed back a few drinks. Among her oft-repeated instructions to viewers is this gem: "The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded, then whack the hell out of a chicken!"
Happy Birthday, Julia... and bon appétit!
"Julia 101" Dinner at 24 Grille, Detroit:
Oyster-creamed Spinach and Caviar
Paired with: Bacon-infused Vodka
Stone Fruit Salad Toast
Paired with: Domaine Ehrhart Gewurztraminer
Tea Sandwich (Grilled Cheese)
Roasted Garlic Roquefort, Brie, Membrillo
Paired with: Joseph Drouhin Chorey-le-Beaune
Pan-Roasted Duck Breast
Red Onion Marmalade, Wild Mushrooms
Paired with: Belle Glos "Las Alturas" Pinot Noir
Tacos, Creamed Asparagus, Parmesan
Paired with: LaMarca Prosecco
Paired with: Two Hands "Gnarly Dudes" Shiraz
Walnut and Blue Cheese Ice Cream
Paired with: Beni di Batasio Moscato d'Asti