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Wine Cask to Host Julia Child Tribute Dinner

Author Bob Spitz will be on hand to discuss his biography of the culinary legend

Julia Child’s birthday cake — generously topped with rich buttercream frosting, of course — would have had 100 candles this year, and though she is no longer with us to join in the chorus of “Happy Birthday” and make a quiet wish, the centenary of her birth will be commemorated with the much-anticipated release of Bob Spitz’s definitive and wonderfully affectionate biography, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child, paired appropriately here in Santa Barbara with an indulgent tribute dinner at Wine Cask on Sept. 6.

The warble-voiced doyenne of television cookery became an iconic cult figure and joyous rule-breaker as she touched off the food revolution that has gripped America for more than 50 years, while also touching the hearts of countless individuals, including Wine Cask Executive Chef Brandon Hughes.

“I had the pleasure of cooking for Julia several times early on in my career,” Hughes said. “She had a vibrant personality and an energy that could light up a room. I admire many things about her, especially her ability to open people up to more adventurous food and to cooking in general.”

The dinner will feature Hughes’ interpretation of some of Child’s favorite dishes she used to order at Wine Cask, when the restaurant was graced with her presence. Guests can expect a delightful first course of Black Mission figs and buratta with wild arugula, duck confit and fig vinaigrette, followed by a braised short rib with soft white corn polenta with fine herbs, haricots verts and bursted tomato beurre blanc, and lastly, “Julia’s Favorite Dessert,” chocolate almond cake with chocolate Icing.

An in-depth, intimate narrative, full of fresh information and insights, Dearie is an entertaining, all-out adventure story about a fearless, ambitious, supremely confident woman who took on all the pretensions that embellished tony French cuisine and fricasseed them to a fare-thee-well, paving the way for Americans to give up their TV dinners and Big Macs and embrace sea urchin foam and the Food Channel.

“It’s rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs and our very culture,” said Spitz, who will attend the tribute dinner to remark on Dearie and sign books as requested. “It’s even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, 6-foot, 3-inch woman whose first exposure to an unsuspecting public is cooking an omelet on a hot plate on a local TV station. And yet, that’s exactly what Julia Child did.”

The tribute dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 6 with a wine reception and footage from Child’s career, followed by an indulgent three-course feast paired with Margerum Wine Company’s wines. Locally owned bookstore Chaucer’s will be on hand to sell copies of Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child for $29.95 plus tax, and Spitz will join for dessert to have a conversation about his narrative and sign books as requested.

Tickets are $100 per person, and include all food and wine, tax and gratuity. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the SBCC School of Culinary Arts, and SBCC students Deya Jacobs and Travis Brock, recent winners of the American Riviera Scholarships, will assist Chef Hughes in preparing this special meal. The American Riviera Scholarships were developed this year by Wine Cask co-owner Mitchell Sjerven as a way to inspire and support up and coming culinary talent in Santa Barbara.

For more information and to make reservations, call the Wine Cask at 805.966.9463. The Wine Cask is located at 813 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing Wine Cask.


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