Child's Play: Everyone Gets into the Pool for the Julia Tribute
The occasion of what would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday will be noted in a number of notable ways. PBS and Create TV will supply special programming to public-television stations. Each also will devote parts of its website to the event. Details of these programs and pages are listed below.
August also will see the publication of a new Julia Child biography. On Aug. 7, Knopf will release Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz.
I did not know about the book until it was mentioned during my phone interview with Geoffrey Drummond, producer of many of Child's TV series and her longtime friend. I was confused by the book's title, so Drummond explained.
He said "dearie" was a term of affection Child often used when talking with friends. As an example, he told of how he and she would attend the annual James Beard Awards ceremony. Beard was a pioneer in food writing and the awards named after him are highly regarded honors in the food world.
After the ceremony, Drummond said, there would be a "group feed," where all the attendees would travel among many food stations to assemble a meal. Dining in that way wasn't Child's preference.
"Well, dearie," she told him, "Don't you think we ought to get something to eat?"
And they would leave this gathering of premier chefs and free food to go to a restaurant. A mainstay of her "properness," he explained, was enjoying a full prepared meal served at a table. "I get depressed if I don't eat a proper meal," she explained to him at the time.
PBS will make a previous special, Julia Child Memories: Bon Appetit!, available to affiliate stations, but viewers will have to check the listings of their local public TV stations to see when or if it will be shown. PBS will launch a special Julia Child section of its food page. The site will include feeds of classic programs, tributes from other chefs, recipes, a link to a page on which anyone can post a tribute as well as recipes, books and other Child materials.
American Public Television's Create network also will air special programs, including a "Celebrate Julia" program marathon on Aug. 18 and 19. On Aug. 1 it will launch its Julia Child Tribute Page on createtv.com . It will feature histories of her series, a link to the Smithsonian Institution's virtual tour of her kitchen, a list of the 100 U.S. bookstores participating in a celebration of Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, restaurants that will be taking part in the Aug. 7-15 national Julia Child Restaurant Week and new daily postings of tributes, recipes videos, photos and other remembrances.