I was paging through our latest Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) catalog of programs when I came across one particular one.
"Kate, how about signing up for a program about Julia Child?"
Since Kate is a big fan of Julia, I knew the answer to that question. The program was going to be held in Santa Barbara, which was on the route of our Fall travels, AND there were dates among the offerings that fit our schedule perfectly.
Sign us up for "Julia Child's Santa Barbara."
Road Scholar programs go beyond travel and sightseeing and emphasize learning more about the topics related to the main subject through presentations by local experts in the field.
Food historian Miriam Hospodar provided an overview of Julia McWilliams Child's influence on American cuisine. The photos here were taken from slides during her presentation.
Julia was 6'2" and the photo on the right shows how she towered over her small stove.
This photo of a Valentine's Day card showed the fun side of Julia and her husband Paul.
When Julia began her cooking show on public TV, there was little money to cover any production costs except those involved in one-shot segments.
We could only imagine what the stories about those early days would reveal. But compared to today's Food Network TV shows, Julia and her shows were real--not everything went smoothly; mistakes were made, but you can still manage.
Today's multiple-take shows are very sterile in their appearance of perfection.
Julia also was very real and made cooking fun--even if things didn't go smoothly.
We had informative presentations by Antonio Gardella about Santa Barbara wines and
Suzanne Landry on the subject of food preparation.
While these presenters were quite knowledgable and entertaining, we would have enjoyed learning more about Julia the author, Julia the television personality, and Julia the teacher.
One of the program's meals was prepared by the students of the Santa Barbara City College Culinary School. Here Chef Randy Bublitz is shown preparing crepes (photos left and below) for dessert.
Later in the program, Chef Bublitz spoke on the topic of "The History of French Cuisine."
While the program components were effective and interesting, we were hoping for more on Julia Child. Looking at the program's title ("Julia Child's Santa Barbara"), it became clear that "Julia Child" was an adjective providing some clarifying information about Santa Barbara, the subject. Thus, the program segments on Santa Barbara wines, the Culinary School, the Farmers' Market, and the historic Courthouse were all pertaining to Santa Barbara.
We're beginning our search for the program with "Julia Child" as the noun--maybe, "Santa Barbara's Julia Child."