By Joanna Fantozzi
August 6, 2012
The culinary world is celebrating the 100th birthday of cooking icon Julia Child with her delicious dishes.
From Aug. 7-15, more than 100 restaurants across the country are participating in a Julia Child Restaurant Week, hosted by Knopf Publishers. The celebration of the chef who made French cooking easy culminates with the release of Knopf's "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child" by Bob Spitz.
New Yorkers can get a taste of Child-inspired meals at several local restaurants, including Aureole, Buvette and Union Square Cafe.
Each eatery is honoring Child's legacy differently — some are featuring plates that she loved to eat, while others are offering their own renditions of her creations.
Aureole, a Times Square restaurant run by Charlie Palmer, will be serving Child's Pâté de Campagne, a pork meatloaf, for lunch and dinner ($16).
"It was always a blast working with Julia," says Palmer, who once appeared on Child's PBS program "Cooking With Master Chefs."
"We chose to feature this dish in her honor because the distinctive texture and rustic flavor profile of this classic terrine simply satisfies."
At Buvette in the West Village, chef Jody Williams will put several of Child's creations on the menu.
In addition to classic entrees such as Coq au Vin, braised chicken with wine and mushrooms, and Poulet Rotisserie, rotisserie chicken with homemade mayonaisse, there'll also be a French omelet available during brunch and hand-whipped chocolate mousse for dessert.
"Her cookbooks have been in my family kitchen since I was a little kid," says Williams.
At Jeanne and Gaston, also in the West Village, and Madison Bistro in Murray Hill, chef Claude Godard is doing a $35 pre-fixe menu.
The dishes are adapted versions of Child's Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms au Gratin, Coq au Vin and Vanilla Petit Pot de Creme, a French custard.
"As a French chef, this is very important to me," says Godard. "I thought it was a nice way to celebrate someone who has helped promote French cuisine around the world."
Marea on the upper West Side will be serving up $42 Lobsters Thermidor, stuffed lobster topped with a cheese crust, alongside its regular dinner options.
"Julia's recipe is the ultimate classic," says executive chef Jared Gadbow. "Considering Marea's focus on seafood, it seemed like the perfect idea."
But for superfans of the French cooking pioneer, one week may not be enough.
Murals on 54 is whipping up a different Child creation every day in August as part of its program, "Julia du Jour."
On Aug. 15, Child's actual birthday, the restaurant will celebrate with a meal of the TV personality's favorite recipes, including Boeuf Braisé Prince Albert, braised beef tenderloin with foie gras and truffles.
As Child would say, "Bon appetit!"
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