Food world stargazing/hero worship

Last week we went to a panel at BU called “Food and Memory: Biography, Autobiography, and Film,” featuring an unbelievable panel made up of Jacques Pépin, Judith Jones, and Alex Prud’homme, with Corby Kummer moderating. It was basically an “I knew the real woman” conversation about Julia Child, followed by a showing of “Julie and Julia.”

One of my biggest regrets (an indication that I’m pretty lucky, I guess) is that I didn’t get to attend an event at BU while I was a student there, in which Jacques and Julia did a demonstration together. I found out about it too late to get a ticket, saaaaadness. I wasn’t about to miss this one! The event, I’m sorry to say, was not particularly well-run (as a BU alum I have to be clear and point out that it seemed to be organized through the continuing ed program, not the college itself, which tends to run everything with military precision), but the panel! I mean, how many chances do you get to see Judith Jones and Jacques Pépin in the flesh? And Alex Prud’homme was delightful, full of insights into Julia-as-a-person. The talk was full of fun nuggets about working with Julia and the delicate balance Meryl Streep achieved in terms of capturing her drive and toughness in addition to the showy hamminess that everyone saw on her tv shows. I got a chance to speak with all three afterward, at length with Mr. Prud’homme, and all were lovely.

Fellow Boston-area food blogger Adrienne Bruno was able to join me and Ben at the last minute, canceling dinner plans to do so, and it was great to meet in person. She was also way better positioned for photo-taking during the panel; all of my shots are mostly made up of the large head of the woman in front of me. So thank you to Adrienne for the photos!

"Food and Memory" panel

Adrienne also took a picture of me looking a little crazed (agh!) with Jacques Pépin. I was thrilled to buy a hardcover copy of The Apprentice (have you read it? READ IT!) and get him to sign it. One of my favorite food-memoirs ever, which is saying a lot.

Kate with Jacques Pépin

I did find it hilarious that at an event like this, talking about Julia for an hour+ and then watching her eat her way through France, the “reception” consisted of pretzels, popcorn and Julia’s favorite cocktail snack, goldfish crackers. I made my dinner out of about three bowls of goldfish crackers and a Jamba Juice smoothie from the food court downstairs. Further hilarity was provided by the mostly extremely, um, mature crowd, which arrived early and was enraged not to be allowed in to claim seats right away. I really though there was going to be a slow-motion cane fight by the time we finally went into the giant auditorium. The old folks didn’t stick around for the movie, by the way.

3 thoughts on “Food world stargazing/hero worship”

  1. Hi. I clicked over here from a thread on Katy Elliott to look for pictures of your IKEA hybrid kitchen.

    I read The Apprentice several years ago, and it was very enjoyable. I thought the period in his life where he developed the food for Howard Johnsons was particularly interesting since the underlying principle of centralized food production, canning and freezing, and shipping out is what has made so much of America’s food so bad. Yet it was done with seemingly good intentions to improve the cuisine. One of my favorite recipes for stuffed onions is one that I learned from his show with his daughter, Cooking with Claudine, that was on PBS sometime in the 90s.

  2. Papa-sur-le-toît: Un peu.

    Sasha: I’m just starting to re-read it now! I do remember that section being fascinating… Stuffed onions? Do tell.

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