Dear Julia, Happy Birthday! #100, or, Why I Loved You

Dear Julia, Happy 100th birthday! Today lots of famous food writers will write or post reams of flattering words about you. I know, I’ve already seen them, the New York Times leading the charge with three features about you, one by your friend Jacques Pépin. Like Jacques, many others will point out, once again, that…

Cooking Classic French Food, the Easy Way

If French cuisine, or at least the cooking of it, intimidates you, you’re not alone. A perception of too many fussy techniques and hard-to-obtain ingredients stops people who might otherwise wield a wooden spoon with Julia Child’s enthusiasm. The great popularity of Italian food testifies to people’s desire to take simple ingredients and transform them…

Culinary Memoirs: What’s the Point?

They usually start by describing a kitchen from that vast desert common to all of us: memory. Filled with nostalgia, and sometimes not a little anger, culinary memoirs tend to hover around the memoirist’s stomach, in what I would call extreme navel-gazing. What is culinary memoir? And why are there so many of them springing…

Julie & Julia —

A kitchen, a bottle of wine, and a duck recipe. Easy, right? With the movie, “Julie & Julia,” now out,  media commentators and critics find new fodder for chewing. One of the better perusals comes from The Boston Globe, written by Devra First and Wesley Morris. A video helps brings home the impact of cooking…