Chef Eric Reminisces About Cooking For Julia Child

Chef Eric Reminisces About Cooking For Julia Child

I noticed that Master Chef Julia Child’s birthday is coming up on August 15 – just a day away from mine! I started to reminisce about the time I was invited to participate in preparing a six course dinner at the James Beard House back in the early 1990s. The menu was going to be all about Nouvelle Cuisine – “a modern style of cooking that avoids rich, heavy foods and emphasizes the freshness of the ingredients and the presentation of the dishes.” This style was perfect for me and still is! If you’ve been following me on you know that I love to work with what’s fresh at the market and to make the presentation of the food look as good as it tastes.

I can’t remember exactly what dish I made or who all of the guests were, however, I can clearly remember Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and Peter Kump. I’m sure you know who Julia and Jacques are but you may not know much about Peter Kump. Peter was the founder of the James Beard House and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and is still considered to be one of the most influential people on the American food scene. Initially, I was terrified that I was going to meet and cook for this elite group. After meeting Julia I quickly found out that she was a warm, generous woman and because of her outgoing and friendly personality, she appeared much taller than 6’2”! It was great to meet Jacques and Peter but so amazing to meet Julia.

To honor Julia’s birthday I decided to re-create one of her favorite recipes – Duck A L’Orange – but add my own healthy twist to it and I’m sharing it with this week. It’s an easy recipe and most of it can be prepped in advance. Make Crispy Duck skewers when your friends come over and let them help you with the assembly. They’re healthy and delicious and might make you think about Julia Child as she says “Bon Appetit!”

I’m also sharing one of my favorite quotes by Julia Child from My Life in France:

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”

I hope this is your motto when you cook for your family and friends!!

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

Chef Eric LeVine

About Chef Eric LeVine

Chef Eric LeVine
Chef/Partner, Morris Tap & Grill, Paragon Tap & Table Culinary Expert

Chef Eric LeVine is one of America’s most passionate, respected and celebrated chefs. He has received numerous awards and accolades, and is known as the “chef’s chef” – turned to by caterers and restaurateurs around the world for the latest trends in the culinary industry.

The International Chef’s Association named Chef Eric Creative Caterer of the Year and Chef of the Year...