Celebrating a Culinary Legend

Happy Birthday, Julia Child! Mark the occasion by throwing this simple-yet-impressive dinner party for your friends. 

Why celebrate a stranger's birthday? Because Julia loved having a reason to get her friends together to eat good food, and so can you. 
I came across this idea in the August issue of one of my favorite magazines, Bon Appetit, and instantly wanted to make this meal come to life in my own kitchen. 

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In celebration of Julia's birthday (tomorrow), Bon Appetit proposes you make a night of it – invite friends over for a "Cooking Club" in honor of the woman who made the French phrase famous (with that glorious inflection of hers), and then go see the movie Julie & Julia

I was fortunate enough to go to an early screening of this film, and I have just three words on the subject: Go. See. Immediately
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You can see the suggested menu for the celebratory dinner party over at BonAppetit.com. All of the recipes are from Julia's famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and are sure to delight your guests. The meal is simple and classic (so very French, Oui?); the dessert alone with have your friends talking for weeks. 

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So hop to it – throw on some pearls and an apron and you'll be channeling my favorite American in Paris in no time at all. 

Want to learn a little more about Julia herself? Bon Appetit's Editor-in-Chief, Barbara Fairchild, was fortunate enough to know Julia personally (insert emotion: Jealousy). Check out what she learned from the woman who brought French cooking to American kitchens here. My favorite lesson: "Perfection is overrated" – Thank You Julia! 

Do you have a favorite recipe from Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking? Share it here! 

Photos by Gail Albert Halaban for Bon Appetit

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