Joyeux Anniversaire Julia Child! Today would have been Julia’s 105th birthday. It has been a tradition to celebrate her birthday here on Taste With The Eyes for the past 10 years.
Please join me as I re-create Julia Child’s very first meal in France, one that she experienced with her husband Paul Child. The story takes place in Rouen, France in November of 1948. I originally wrote this post back in 2007. I resurrect it every year in August, with some minor changes, to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday. This year I am including her recipe for Sole Meunière.
The text is as she describes her meal to us inMy Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006. The re-creation photographs are ones that I have taken on my travels; some are from France, others from California, a couple are shot in my own home. I use the sepia tone to give the images the feel of a single place almost 70 years ago.
Come, let’s travel back in time and enjoy French food and revel in its perfection via Julia…
Julia Child’s First Meal in France and Sole Meunière
Hailing from the South of Spain, the refreshing chilled tomato soup called salmorejo is ideal for warm weather entertaining and the perfect soup to kick off a delicious summer.
Traditionally, salmorejo is garnished with chopped hard boiled egg and Serrano ham. Here, as a nod to salmorejo’s close relative, gazpacho, I keep this version meatless by substituting cucumber spirals for the ham. It is often finished with a drizzle of olive oil, however I jazz it up with cool crema and fiery chili oil. A jammy egg sits on top. Purple garlic blossoms make a pretty addition, hinting at the garlic in the soup.
Baran’s 2239 Spring Strawberry & Farro Salad
English Peas, Asparagus, Burrata
The highlight of Teacher Appreciation Week, as usual, was our Annual Luncheon. This year it had a super-fun hang loose Hawaiian Island theme. Our friends at Baran’s 2239 Restaurant generously donated the salad course, a delightful Strawberry & Farro Salad, the epitome of springtime in a bowl. Chef Tyler Gugliotta shares his recipe here on Taste With The Eyes. Mahalo Chef!
Red Potato and Shishito Pepper Hash
We sat in a Chicago luncheonette Sipping a Mexican cola
And snapping pics as the countertops were bussed
His style was lusty, drawing inspiration from bygone diners It was bold and gutsy
(a nod to Hall & Oates)
The 41-stool luncheonette sits next to the Damen “L” Station in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. A gem of a diner serving Southern inspired Mexican cuisine, it has all the charm of lunch counters of yesteryear – an original tin ceiling, earth-tone hexagon floor tiles, vintage wood paneling, antique fixtures with separate hot & cold faucets reminding me of the bathrooms in the Chicago Public Schools in the 60s.
But charm isn’t the main reason to take the “L” or Uber over to Wicker Park. Come to Dove’s for the soulful food, friendly neighborly vibes, and gracious hospitality.
Shortly after our visit to Dove’s, I was thrilled to find the recipe for Red Potato and Shishito Pepper Hash in Bon Appétit. I’ve already served it a few times here in LA, with rave reviews. Editor Julie Kramer says, “People accuse me of having a bias toward every food made in my hometown of Chicago. But I defy you to find a crispier, more satisfying breakfast hash than the one at Dove’s Luncheonette.”
Since 1901, The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the Inauguration of the President of the United States at the U.S. Capitol.
I’m delighted to share my re-creation of The Luncheon’s Second Course below.
Stunning inaugural floral design by Toulies en Fleur: Garden roses, regular roses, stock, Spray roses, calla lilies, dusty miller, silver brunia berries, and cloni ranunculus.