Popular recipe for community reading: Julia Child book is WestportREADS '14 choice
This will truly be food for thought for the community.
The book, "My Life in France," by master chef, author and masterful personality, Julia Child, is the selection for the 2014 WestportREADS community reading project by the Westport Library.
The book, which Child co-wrote with Alex Prud'homme, will be the focus of a month-long slate of programs at the library and other local venues during January.
Before she became the iconic culinary authority and cultural personality, Child lived in France for six years, and it was during that time that she developed the love of French culture and cooking that made her famous and changed the way Americans think about food, the library said in a release announcing selection of the book for next year's WestportREADS.
Highlights of the themed programs planned in conjunction with the community reading experience include:
Sunday, Jan. 5: Child's great-nephew and co-author of "My Life in France," Alex Prud'homme< will discuss the book and his memories of Child's life. Free and open to the public. 2 p.m. library's McManus Room.
Saturday, Jan. 11: Children 3-6 years old are invited to make a paper cupcake creation with Victoria Kann, author and illustrator of the "Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook." Kann will read from her Pinkalicious books. Free; register online at www.westportlibrary.org. 2 p.m. library's McManus Room.
Saturday, Jan. 11: The movie, "Julie & Julia," will be screened, telling the true story of how Julia Child's (Meryl Streep) life inspired office worker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) to whip up 524 recipes in 365 days. A discussion will follow. Purchase tickets ($10 ) at www.westportcinema.org. Tickets will also be available at the door. 4 p.m. Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church hall, 75 Church Lane.
Wednesday, Jan. 15: Cooking demonstration and tasting of rugelach with renowned cookbook author and culinary teacher Lauren Groveman, who worked with Julia Child on both the book and DVD Baking with Julia. Purchase tickets ($15) online. 1:30 p.m. Lauren Groveman Kitchen, Inc.
Sunday, Jan. 19: Writer Nina Sankovitch discusses the art and value of letter writing, using letters written by Julia Child and her husband, Paul, as examples. Sankovitch's new book, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing," comes out in the spring. Free and open to the public. 2 p.m. library's McManus Room.
Wednesday, Jan. 22: Roger Celestin, professor of French and comparative literary and cultural studies at the University of Connecticut, will speak on life in post-war France as experienced by Julia and Paul Child. The Childs lived in Paris and Marseilles from 1948 to 1954, and it was there that Julia developed the skills and love of French food that made her famous. Free and open to the public. 7 p.m. library's McManus Room.
Friday, Jan. 24: Compare the wines and cheeses of France and California, just as Julia Child did. Purchase tickets ($35) online. Proceeds benefit the Westport Library. 6 p.m. Westport Country Playhouse.
Sunday, Jan. 26: New Yorker essayist, writer, Francophile and the library's 2009 Booked for the Evening honoree Adam Gopnik interviews Judith Jones, food writer and longtime editor for Julia Child. Free and open to the public. 2 p.m. library's McManus Room.
Thursday, Jan. 30: Neighbors and Newcomers of Westport group explores "My Life in France." New participants welcome. 7 p.m. library's McManus Room.
In addition, five local dinners with Julia Child-inspired menus at Westport restaurants have been planned:
Wednesday, Jan. 8, Post 154
Wednesday, Jan. 15, Rive Bistro
Wednesday, Jan. 22, Da Pietro's
Thursday, Jan. 23, Blue Lemon
Wednesday, Jan. 29, Spotted Horse Tavern
Dinners, including wine, begin at 7 p.m., cost is $100 per person. Purchase tickets online. Proceeds benefit Westport Library events and programs.