Julia Child, the iconic TV chef who introduced French cooking to everyday Americans, would have turned 100 today.
Julia Child lived in North Cambridge, not too far from where I live now. She loved shopping at Formaggio Kitchen and Savenor’s (both of which, by the way, are fantastic gourmet markets). She regularly dined at Sandrine’s and Harvest, both in Harvard Square.
In 2001 Julia Child donated her kitchen from her Cambridge home to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
I had the honor of being at the Smithsonian Museum of American History today to attend a special birthday celebration in honor of Julia Child.
There were A LOT of people there!
A band of musicians dressed up as chefs played a few songs, including happy birthday.
They passed out cookies made from one of Julia Child’s recipes. Land O Lakes donated 50 kg of butter and Wegman’s donated the rest of the ingredients and the labor cost. Can you believe they made over 3000 cookies?
Afterwards, we visited Julia’s kitchen, which has recently been moved (within the museum) and rebuilt in a way that allows more people to view it at once. Whereas there used to be only three “viewing” windows around the kitchen, there are now six viewing windows.
Isn’t this cute? Julia liked to use a pegboard to keep track of where everything went. If you look closely, you’ll see the outline of each item drawn on the board indicating where everything goes.
I was so intrigued by all her kitchen gadgets. What are all those copper pans in the back? It was also cool to think that this was the famous kitchen where she filmed so many of her TV episodes.
Julia Child’s kitchen will become part of a larger new exhibit at the Museum of American History exploring food and wine in America from 1950-2000.
The exhibit will explore how food in America has changed as a result of technology (e.g., the scienrific advancement of food production and “Big Ag”), immigration (e.g., the rise of Mexican cuisine and, more recently, Indian and Asian cuisine), and major historical events, like World War II. Julia Child is a huge player in this history, being the one to bring the art of French cooking to everyday Americans.
They have acquired some interesting pieces to display, such as a Krispy Kreme doughnut machine and shopping carts from the 1950’s compared to a Costco cart today.
The exhibit begins on November 20, 2012. It sounds exciting and I can’t wait to see it!
A Peek of DC Food
Of course, I can’t write a food blog post without posting any pictures of food, right? I’ve been in DC the past two days on a crazy food tour. Here’s just a small peek at some of the stuff I’ve enjoyed!
A lovely cappuccino with “latte art” from Peregrine.
A gorgeous cocktail from the bar at the Federalist, the restaurant/bar that is part of the new (20 million dollar) renovated Madison Hotel.
Fantastic dumplings from The Source, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant-within-a-museum in DC.
A snack before dinner? Mussels served with pipirrana, Sherry dressing and honey from Jaleo.
The “Vegetal” gin and tonic from Jaleo, complete with radish, fennel, cubeb (tailed pepper), and kumquat.
Palak Chaat – a fantastic crispy spinach appetizer from Rasika West End in DC.
I still plan on visiting a few more places before returning to Boston. I will definitely write about all of these restaurants in full, gory (photolicious!) detail after the Eating the Big Apple series concludes. I’ve definitely visited some incredible places and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Disclaimer – this trip, including all the meals, were provided by Destination DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting DC as a travel destination. All opinions provided in this post are my own.
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