Midtown Cafe Toasts Julia Child's 100th Birthday With a Week of French Classics

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Who doesn't love Julia Child? It seems like since her death she's only become more revered. It's not just that everyone from Dan Aykroyd to Meryl Streep has impersonated her, it's that the more we learn about her (including, for example, her World War II espionage work) the more unique, creative and indomitable she seems to be.

In case you don't know, Julia Child introduced the wonders of French cooking to American home kitchens starting with her first popular cookbook in 1961, and over the years inspired millions around the world to give fine cooking a try — what with her books, her public television show and her unflappable enthusiasm.

Aug. 15 would be her 100th birthday, and restaurants across the U.S. are celebrating, including Nashville's Midtown Cafe. From this Tuesday, Aug. 7, through Aug. 15, Midtown owner Randy Rayburn promises a special menu of nostalgic J.C. classics like vichyssoise, boeuf Bourguignon, coquilles St. Jacques a la Provencal and coq au vin.

Check out the press release for details:

Midtown Cafe Celebrates Julia Child’s 100th Birthday

Weeklong special menu part of nationwide event

America’s beloved culinary icon Julia Child would have turned 100 August 15, and Midtown Cafe is celebrating her birthday, along with other outstanding restaurants around the country.

From August 7-15, Midtown diners may indulge in nostalgic, pre-Cuisine-Minceur dishes such as Vichyssoise, Pate de Champagne, Salad Nicoise, Boeuf Bourguignon, Coquilles St. Jacques a la Provencal, Coq au Vin, Apple Tarte Tatin and other classics Child brought from Paris to America’s kitchens. Flights of French wines complementing the menu will be available.

“We miss Julia and we miss these great classics,” said Midtown Cafe owner Randy Rayburn, whose admiration of Child (allegedly) prompted him to dress as the famed chef one memorable Halloween in the ’90s.

Julia Child Restaurant Week, observed nationwide in 100 select restaurants, is the culmination of a 100-day celebration launched in May by Knopf, Child’s longtime publisher. Participating restaurants include Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Bistro Niko in Atlanta, Emeril’s in New Orleans and Marea in New York City. The multi-layered JC100 celebration has included celebrity chefs, cooks, food writers, bloggers, fans, bookstores and broadcasters honoring the woman who taught American home cooks how to fearlessly tackle French cuisine through 20 best-selling cookbooks, including her first, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her PBS TV show, The French Chef.

The event coincides with the publication of a new Child biography, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child, by Bob Spitz.

To celebrate Julia’s great legacy to America’s cooks, Midtown Cafe will be giving away a copy of the new biography and a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking to two lucky diners who enjoy the Julia Child menu that week. And, who knows, perhaps (a version of) Julia herself may appear. Bon Appetit!

Midtown Cafe, one of Nashville’s favorite casual fine dining establishments, is located at 102 19th Avenue South. Reservations are available at 615-320-7176 or online atwww.midtowncafe.com. Find more on JC100 on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/JuliaChild), Twitter (http://twitter.com/JC100) or Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/knopfbooks/jc100).

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