Aug. 15 marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Master Chef Julia Child, who died in 2004. Child single-handedly introduced the American public to French cuisine. Her first cookbook, the 734-page Mastering the Art of French Cooking published in 1961, made French cuisine accessible for the "servantless" American cook, using "no out-of-the-ordinary" ingredients. Child wrote 17 cookbooks and her 1963 television program The French Chef revolutionized cooking programming.
To celebrate the legacy of Julia Child, restaurants across the United States will host Julia Child Restaurant Week from Aug. 5 through 15, featuring the 100 most cherished recipes, as selected by renowned chefs.
Charlotte restaurants participating in this invitation-only event are E2 Emeril's Eatery (135 Levine Avenue of the Arts); Fern (1323 Central Ave.); Halcyon, (500 S. Tryon St.); and Something Classic Catering. Both Fern and Halcyon will have a prix fixe menu option, while Something Classic will offer 12 classic dishes on a rotation basis throughout August.
To find other French dishes Child made famous, check out area restaurants. Bernard Brunet, a native of Nice, France, and chef-owner of Global Restaurant (3520 Toringdon Way), has many classic French dishes on his international menu, including steak tartare and his marvelous dessert trio of crème brûlée. Georges Brasserie (4620 Piedmont Row Drive) has boeuf bourguignon, the dish vividly depicted in Julie & Julia (2009) that led to an increase in sales of the red Le Creuset French enameled cast iron oven.
PBS will also stream Julia Child cooking shows from Aug. 5 to 15 at www.pbs.org/food/julia-child-100-birthday.
Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-522-8334, extension 136.