Restaurateurs, publishers, and media outlets have been gearing up for a year to celebrate Julia Child’s 100th birthday, Aug. 15. Here’s a selected list of restaurant events, books, and broadcasts happening this week and beyond.
WGBH, Child’s home base for 40 years, has been celebrating her centennial all this month. Next up is a rebroadcast of three original black-and-white episodes of “The French Chef,” from 1963, to be aired on Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. on WGBH 2. The episodes feature French onion soup, quiche Lorraine, and French apple tarts. On the Web, www.wgbh.org/JC100 features excerpts from 10 hours of recently found early ’70s outtakes from “The French Chef.” There you can also see photographs, recipes, and full episodes of those first shows.
Boston University’s Culinary Arts and Gastronomy programs, cofounded by Child and Jacques Pepin in 1989, will celebrate her centenary this fall with two events. On Oct. 2 and again on Nov. 7, local chefs including Jody Adams, Jacky Robert, and Ming Tsai will cook for those willing to pay $300. Each dish will be inspired by Child or have special meaning to the chefs. For more info go to www.bu.edu/foodandwine.
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf has launched an app for the iPad, NOOK Tablet, and NOOK Color featuring selected recipes from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” (Try not to get food all over your mobile device while you’re cooking.)
Knopf also has a Facebook page called “JC100” at www.facebook.com/juliachild and is commemorating a Julia Child Restaurant Week that ends on Aug. 15. Participating restaurants, including many in and around Boston, are at www.jc100.tumblr.com/post/27121784173/julia-child-restaurant-week-august-7-15-2012.
Although not formally part of the JC100 Restaurant Week, several other area restaurants are holding Julia restaurant weeks of their own. Among those are UpStairs on the Square, which will feature Child-centric menus Aug. 15-31. Hamersley’s Bistro is featuring a “Julia’s Birthday Prix Fixe” menu on Aug. 15, including oysters with mignonette, slow-roasted leg of lamb, and a variety of Child’s favorite desserts.
Several books about Child coincide with her birthday. In “Bon Appetit: The Delicious Life of Julia Child,” author Jessie Hartland chronicles Child’s rise to fame in a unique way. The book has the look and feel of a scrapbook, with handwritten text and numerous doodles that make it a fun read. A biography, “Dearie,” by Bob Spitz, follows her life from her girlhood in Pasadena, Calif., to TV icon in Cambridge. (For more on Spitz, see G Force, Page 35.) “As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child & Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship and the Making of a Masterpiece,” by culinary historian Joan Reardon, delves into the 1950s correspondence between Child and one of her closest friends.