Sunday, February 11, 2007

Norway celebrates "The French Chef" anniversary

Oslo Reporting on a Julia Child Celebration
by Scott Givot

A lively group of Norwegians gathered this evening in tribute to the memory of a beloved icon of the culinary world and particularly for all she invested in IACP.

Ingrid Espelid Hovig, the equivalent to Julia Child in Norway and former recipient of IACP's Lifetime Achievement Award launched the evening with a Champagne toast, followed by playing an American Public Television documentary on Julia Child's visit to Norway. In the film, Ingrid meets Julia and recalls the days when she and her husband, Paul Child, lived in Oslo in post war 1950's. Ingrid has always humbled herself in the towering shadow of the US diva, however, Julia Child is known to many Norwegians as the Ingrid Espelid Hovig of the US.

I began my day in preparation of the evening meal on page 263 of Julia Child's classic, from Julia Child's Kitchen, a first edition numbered and signed by both Julia and Paul Child. There was just one twist. Instead of beef, I selected reindeer. Accompanying the French inspired stew was a root vegetable mash and more than one glass of aquavit with a good Norwegian Pilsner from the arctic region.

We recalled our various treasured memories and encounters with the late Julia Child, which took us on a journey around the world from Paris to Philadelphia and from Venice to San Antonio. Somehow I feel that in the spirit of creating great company, delicious food and appropriate grog, we have done this lady a great tribute, which she so surely has deserved. We salute our heroine. Skål! Long may her spirit wave in our hearts and minds!

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