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Jul 10, 2009 12:30 PM

Julia Child's Birthday Dinner

My chowhound friends and I are excited about making the menu from Bon Appetit's "Happy Birthday, Julia" article. Are any of you planning a party using this menu? Simple menu, but with many folks across the country making the same menu on the same night for the same reason, should be a reason to keep in touch with each other about our successes/failures and just fun home cooking! I'll look forward to reading the posts.

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  1. I no longer subscribe but I love the idea. Online:

    First Course
    Pissaladière Niçoise
    Bandol Rosé

    Main & Sides
    Poulet Sauté aux Herbes de Provence
    French bread

    Salad Course
    Green Salad with Sauce Vinaigrette

    Reine de Saba

    Delightful. Surely Julia would approve.

    7 Replies
    1. re: MplsM ary

      I love the idea also! She was such a great inspiration to so many! I cherish my signed "Menu Cookbook", tho I confess to not having used it in ages! Her first menu is the Birthday dinner - crabmeat appetizer, Roast Duck with cracklings, the cake! Only Julia could pull off something so rich and decadent!

      And I love the wine suggestions - Chablis, Burgundy or Pinot Noir & Champagne or Sauternes. Would love to go the that dinner party!

      1. re: MplsM ary

        mmmmm. I seem to recall that the Reine de Saba was Julia's all-time favorite cake. But the photo shows a layer cake, and the Reine is a bowl-shaped cake.

        This meal looks (except for the cake) sounds like one of my summertime dinner parties. What a nice idea to make those for Julia's birthday. ;)

        What a classy lady. Every year after her birthday had passed, she would send out thank you notes to all her friends and fans who had sent her birthday cards.

        1. re: ChefJune

          She shows the Los Gatos Cake, " a dacquoise type of apricot filled torte", with merinque-nut layers. Don't see the Reine de Saba cake recipe in this edition - circa 1991.

          1. re: Phurstluv

            this sounds really good. i can't find it published online...

            1. re: jeniyo

              Which one, the Reine de Saba or the Los Gatos Cake?

          2. re: MplsM ary

            I love the menu. Because I just discovered this site today, 8/15/15, I will wait until next year to prepare this meal, I think I will host a party. Julia has been my hero and inspiration for many many years!

          3. Just an interesting aside about Julia, even though she was a gourmet cook one of her favorite meals was an In-N-Out double double cheeseburger, she had a list of every In-N-Out in California.

            1. Sounds like a nice tribute to her. I doubt I can participate in that elaborate menu even as much as I love her and want to.

              But what I will do in her honor is probably make a lovely herb omlette in the morning and drink a bottle of, er I mean, a fine glass of white wine...

              1 Reply
              1. re: chef chicklet

                I love the quote from Julia which was the response to the question, "To what do you attribute your longevity?" (or something close to that). Her answer was, "Beef and gin."

              2. I have her cookbook Julia Child and Company with her birthday dinner menu. She says her favorite birthday dinner is always Roast duck and a big gooey cake. Neither of those would have been much fun to make on a hot summer day, before central air. The menu in the cookbook also has Chesapeake lump crab apps, puree of parsnips in zucchini boats and broccoli spears with brown butter and lemon. The duck is duck with cracklings and the gooey cake is Los Gatos Gateau , a very elaborate affair with layers of meringue, apricot filling and butter Cream frosting. I watched her make the cake on television- it was impressive. Thought her menu would be an interesting addition to this thread. I can't wait to see the movie- loved the book.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ginnyhw

                  I saw her make the cake, too, and loved that she explained that the grat thing about a long rectangular cake such as this is that you can eat a slice as a treat, then put more buttercream on the end, and your guests will never know. That shows her signature down-to-earth spirit and enjoyment of her own cooking to a tee.

                2. Wow! ginnyhw! My friends and I WON"T be doing that menu...we'll do the simple one in Bon Appetit Mag. I have that Julia Child and Friends book and am going to try that cake one of these days, when the weather around San Antonio cools off a bit... but it won't be min-August! Thanks for the post on her "real" birthday menu. We'll report on how the easier one goes.