August 15th we celebrated the centennial birthday of Julia Child, and what better way to celebrate it than in France, which coincides with the festival of Assumption — a feast holiday no less! We were in the small Provence town of Petit Palais, near the old Roman town of Carpentras, where townsfolk laid out picnic tables with white cloth, and the town (maybe 200), stayed out late under candlelight to watch the meteor showers above. This is exactly as Julia Child would have wanted to celebrate her birthday — family and friends together, sharing great home-made food from the heart.
In many ways it is really hard to fathom the impact Juliat Child had on American cuisine. She brought to the American kitchen an idea that, before, was not in the mindset of the average American — fine cuisine, and French cuisine at that — could be made at the home. She revolutionized American cuisine, and with it Americans began to cook in earnest, paving the way for great American chefs bringing innovative, fresh cuisine, before “sustainable” was ever in vogue.
So we raise a glass of champagne to Julia Child, with a toast of “merci bien” (many thanks!) for all you brought to America to make it a finer place to eat.