MORGAN HOOVER, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
August 7, 2009 7:20 AM
A dinner and movie event has been planned by the American Institute of Wine and Food to showcase the recipes and cinematic portrayal of a beloved Santa Barbaran.
Julia Child will be honored Sunday at Cafe Shell by Chef Michael Hutchings, who will prepare a meal using recipes from her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." The meal, which begins at 5 p.m., will be followed by a screening of the film "Julie & Julia" at 8 p.m. at Paseo Nuevo, in which Mrs. Child is portrayed by actress Meryl Streep.
Mr. Hutchings, 60, worked with Mrs. Child on various occasions since their first meeting in 1981.
"I did a dinner with her," he said. "It was the initiation of the AIWF. I also had the fun of cooking in her condo a couple times."
Mr. Hutchings, who has been cooking for 38 years and began his career at Disneyland, said he is eager to see the film and how it portrays his friend and fellow chef.
"I'm anxious to see how Streep does," said Mr. Hutchings, adding the earliest he will be able to watch the film is Monday because he is quite busy preparing for Sunday evening's event.
He emphasized the importance of Mrs. Child as a historical icon, calling her "part of our mosaic of wonderful people here in Santa Barbara."
"She really sparked American interest in fine dining," he said. "She popularized French cuisine and still has a lot of magic about her."
The food to be served Sunday, including mushroom croutons, fish fillet in a white wine and cream sauce, filet steak in red wine sauce and an upside-down apple tart, will be wholly authentic, according to the chef.
"They are meticulous recipes," said Mr. Hutchings. "She was humble and called herself just a home cook, but she was a real chef."
The price of a ticket for the event is $65 for AIWF members and $75 for non-members; tickets cover both the meal and the film.
Wine for the meal will not be provided, but attendees are welcome to bring their own. Seating will be open, shared and in some cases, outdoor.
It is requested that those who plan to attend the film after the dinner arrive to the theatre by 7:30 p.m.
For further information, contact Jean Schultz at 967-5358.