Throwback Thursday: Happy (Almost!) Birthday, Julia Child!

James Beard and Julia Child

 

Tomorrow, Friday, August 15, would have been culinary icon (and James Beard's dear friend) Julia Child's 102nd birthday. To mark the occasion, we're sharing the cover of the Summer/Fall 1998 issue of Beard House magazine—which happened to be the "Culinary Education Issue"—featuring the duo. After Beard's death in 1985, it was Julia Child who came up with the idea to preserve his townhouse in New York City. "We need such a place as the Beard House in New York, where we can meet and commune and dine and celebrate—and where we can honor our generous patron saint, James A. Beard," she said. For her brilliant idea to preserve her friend and mentor's home, and for her indelible mark on the American culinary landscape, we're grateful to the late chef, author, and television personality. Happy birthday, Julia! 

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Throwback Thursday: Chefs & Champagne 1998

Chefs & Champagne 1998

 

Chefs & Champagne, our annual summer tasting party in the Hamptons, is a longstanding tradition at the James Beard Foundation. It's an opportunity to gather with friends (and celebrities!) in a spectacular setting, sample food from some of the nation's finest chefs, and, of course, indulge in flowing bubbly. In 1998, our Chefs & Champagne event honored Florence Fabricant, celebrated cookbook author and New York Times columnist. The party's roster was stacked with the most talented chefs from across the country, including: Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit, who would receive the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef just a year later; Laurent Gras of the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley; and Michael Lomonaco formerly of Windows on the World. This year's Chefs & Champagne will take place on Saturday, July 26, and the guest of honor is the inimitable Bobby Flay. 

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Throwback Thursday: Dining with James Beard in His Own Words

James Beard

 

In a 1955 letter to his friend and frequent correspondent, Helen Evans Brown, James Beard describes a day in the life of a legendary gourmand. He depicts lavish dinner parties, complete with foie gras and Champagne; days spent cooking with friends; an ambitious use of butter; and a simple meal for one. He demonstrates his fondness for food, appreciation of friends, aptitude for entertaining, and his charming wit—all the qualities he was most loved for. Below, his letter, which was printed in our Winter 1997 issue of Beard House magazine: 

 

Dearest Helen, 

 

I had dinner for the Gottliebs, the Sam Aarons, and Jeanne Stahl of Life magazine last night. Bill Veach had brought me a large selection of a wonderful pâté a foie. I had one can of that with drinks, then mushrooms with snails, which everyone adores more than snails in the shell. My lobster àl’Américaine was about the best one I ever made. I used three lobsters for six people.... Read more >

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