Restaurants across the country (as well as the entire city of Pasadena) are cashing in this week on what would have been the month of Julia Child's 100th birthday (this coming Wednesday, August 15, will be the big day). Locally, we've combed through our hill of pitches and found three dedicated chefs taking the moment to honor this inspiring culinary icon, each of which point to Child as a motivator in their formative years. Starting tonight, Suzanne Tracht is offering a prix fixe to celebrate Child at Jar, recalling a fateful meeting with the O.G. celebrity chef while Tracht worked at Campanile.
Through her press peeps, Tracht says of the above photo, "I believe that it was Julia's 80th birthday. I had recently given birth to Max, my first child. He was only 7 weeks old and was visiting the same day that Julia was there so we were able to capture this celebration. That meeting always gives me inspiration when I'm cooking at Jar."
Tracht is offering a $39 menu from tonight through Friday from 5:00 P.M. to closing, Jar will serve a three-course prix-fixe beginning on a butter lettuce salad with breakfast radishes, parmesan, and lemon garlic, with a central serving of coq au vin with applewood-smoked bacon, pearl onions, and crimini mushrooms, and ending on the restaurant's own chocolate pudding. Reservations can be made at 323-655-6566.
Suzanne Goin is no stranger to commemorating Child, having held a tribute dinner during Sunday Suppers at Lucques following her passing, dishes like an esteemed cover of Child's poulets grilles a la diable, verbal tributes to her "hero," and perhaps most recognizably, an appearance cooking braised beef short ribs on the Julie & Julia DVD. Starting tonight and ending with a final fete next Wednesday, Goin's Brentwood restaurant Tavern has its own Julia Child pre-fixe for $45, with a vichyssoise with fried leeks, chives, and olive oil to start, followed by grilled lamb chops with saffron rice and haricots verts, and ending on chocolate and almond cake with coffee, rum, and vanilla ice cream. The menus will be served nightly starting at 5:30 P.M. (and 5:00 P.M. on Sunday) and reservations are required at 310-806-6464.
Also kicking off tonight is a fun, seven-day series of special dishes being issued at Downtown's Kendall's Brasserie. Each night through next Wednesday, Jean Pierre Bosc will prepare a different dish from Julia's classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Bosc cites his own education and apprenticeship with Paul Bocuse in his native France and eventual move to Southern California as a parallel with Child's own famous journey and in her honor, will prepare dishes like coq au vin, duck a 'lorange,and banquette of veal through the week, from 5:00 P.M. to closing, bringing her French inspirations to a French kitchen nightly.
We beam with great pride ourselves to have had the personal pleasure of meeting the lively, big-hearted queen of U.S.-French cooking on several occasions in our younger years and remind all of our readers that no matter where you eat or what you cook this week, to keep Julia Child in our hearts. And as always, "bon appétit!"