Celebrating past and present at the Boston Wine Festival

Daniel Bruce (left), Julia Child, and Tom Burgess at the 1992 Boston Wine Festival.
Daniel Bruce (left), Julia Child, and Tom Burgess at the 1992 Boston Wine Festival.Burgess Cellars

Chef Daniel Bruce loves to talk about the early years of the Boston Wine Festival, the annual event he founded at the Boston Harbor Hotel almost 30 years ago. A cherished photo captures a favorite memory.

“Tom Burgess was one of the first I called,” says Bruce, referring to the late patriarch of Burgess Cellars, in Napa, who hosted a wine dinner at the 1990 event. ‘Tom said to me, ‘I’ve never seen anyone put so much work into making sure my wines showed well,’ ” recalls the chef. “He came back in 1992, and I sat Julia Child at his table.”


In the photo, Child stands at a podium, flanked by Bruce, in his chef’s coat and toque, and Burgess, in a dark suit and bow tie. The quality of the photograph is unremarkable by today’s Instagram standards, but you can’t miss the delight on their faces.

After his father passed away last year, Steven Burgess sent the photo — in its original frame — to Bruce, noting that it sat on his father’s desk for years. The son, now president and vintner of the family winery, will host a dinner at the festival on Feb. 22. He’ll bring with him favorite bottles of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, and the chef will re-create the menu from that first dinner. “It will be an homage to a legend, and a welcome to a new generation,” says Bruce.

For tickets, visit www.bostonwinefestival.net

Ellen Bhang can be reached at bytheglass@globe.com