Pasadena Restaurants for Julia Child's Birthday
ICE celebrates one of its first guest instructors, whose hometown is now home to our second campus, on her birthday.
On August 15, 2018, Julia Child would have been 106 years old and hopefully very proud to learn that the Institute of Culinary Education opened a campus in her hometown this year. Yes, Pasadena, California, is the birthplace of "The French Chef” and home to ICE’s first location outside of New York City. Julia was very familiar with the school and a critical part of its history. In 1995, Peter Kump founded what was first called Peter Kump’s New York Culinary School, where Julia was a frequent guest instructor and good friend of Peter's. She remained a staunch supporter of ICE as the years went on and the school grew and changed.
In honor of Julia's culinary legacy, here are a few Pasadena restaurants where we would celebrate her birthday.
- Vertical Wine Bistro participates in Pasadena Restaurant Week's SIP-tember Cocktail Bracket Challenge in August and September, which includes a citywide toast to Julia's birthday at 7 p.m. on Aug. 15. The bistro regularly offers its take on one of Julia's famous dishes, slow-cooked Beef Bourguignon, with baby carrots, fingerling potatoes and lardon. For the party crowd, there's a more casual Beef Bourguignon Nachos with fresh queso, guacamole and sour cream keeping things festive.
- Bistro 45 offers a Provencal Bouillabase, combining the French region where Julia spent many vacations and another classic French dish she mastered. The Pasadena restaurant's version includes fresh, seasonal fish and shellfish in a non-traditional spicy broth.
- Julia Child lived in China for a year and a half with her husband, Paul, and was vocal about her love for Chinese food. A 1974 article in The New Yorker references a note she wrote saying, “I would be perfectly happy w. only Chinese food. Either French or Chinese. Could live w. only Chinese.” Lunasia, which opened in Pasadena in 2015, specializes in dim sum from steamed buns to har gow, a Cantonese shrimp dumpling shaped like a purse. The restaurant's original location is nearby in the San Gabriel Valley, which is home to more than 262,000 Chinese Americans.
- Julia's former co-host, iconic chef Jacques Pepin, dined in Pasadena last year and told LA Weekly that he had a great meal at Union Restaurant. Jacques had pasta with truffles, socca and chickpea bread from Chef Bruce Kalman, who has since left the restaurant, and demonstrated his best-selling pasta at ICE in July.
- Julia was never one to shy away from a French fry and was even vocal about liking McDonald's fries. In her hometown, Stand offers creative fries loaded with braised short rib, cheese sauce, grilled peppers, pickled red onions and green chile aioli. After all, birthdays excuse indulging.
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