From the Editor
Be Fearless in the KitchenBy Wendy O. Dixon, Editor
I’ve never been what you would call a masterful chef. A good cook? Yes. I can whip up a nice dinner and even serve a palatable Christmas meal for family and guests. I’ll happily put some quick appetizers and desserts together for a cocktail party. But I’m more in line with Rachael Ray than Julia Child.
I saw the movie “Julie and Julia,” in which Meryl Streep plays legendary chef Julia Child during the early years of her culinary career and Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a twentysomething New Yorker who blogs about her experiences during a single year of cooking every recipe in Child’s cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
I loved seeing Child’s character fearlessly delight in creating edible works of art in her kitchen all day, pots boiling and meat roasting. But I walked out of the movie theater thinking, “Does anyone cook like Julia Child any more?”
And so I asked our readers if any of you were willing to take on the challenge of creating an authentic French recipe from Child’s book. One brave reader, Bridget Richard, a television producer with Cox, won the chance to blog about her experience as she prepared Child’s Lobster Thermidor. Read all about the ups and downs (and the final result) of Bridget’s quest for the perfect French lobster dish.
For the photo shoot, Colleen Duffley, immensely talented photographer and owner of Studio b in Alys Beach, whose photos have graced hundreds of magazine covers including Better Homes and Gardens, Weight Watchers and Cooking Light, offered her talent and time to photograph our lovely “French for a day” chef.
We had a blast channeling Julia Child. These days, women don’t cut a cooked lobster in half while wearing pearls and heels. Bridget did (during the photo shoot, at least!), and got to savor her hours of hard work in the kitchen with a delectable meal cooked to perfection.
Inspired by Bridget and Julia Child, I, too, spent a whole day in my kitchen attempting to create this delightful dish.
Coincidentally, it was my husband Sean’s birthday, so I had a good excuse to splurge on the lobsters. After using nearly all of my cookware and becoming more familiar with the body parts of a lobster than I’d like (eyeballs, intestinal tubes and such), I had done it. I’d made my first real French dish.
I have since realized Julia Child was not only a great chef, but a patient teacher who shared her culinary wisdom with the average American household cook, and her influence is inspiring.