Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Those who have seen the movie, "Julie and Julia," are already comparing this pivotal scene to such classics as "Casablanca" and "Gone with the Wind." As for me, "My Fair Lady" springs instantly to mind.
"Julie and Julia" is based on a book of the same name by Julie Powell and Julia Child's "My Life in France."
The late Julia Child, of course, is the iconic author of the ground-breaking "The Art of French Cooking," and the larger-than-life host of a series of wildly-successful TV programs that ran from the 60s through the 90s.
But, as we all know, Julia Child came into gourmet cooking late in life and had to be guided along the way. That's where I come in. Here I am in the movie, playing myself, in a scene with Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Throughout the movie, Julia Child is Eliza Doolittle to my Professor Harold Higgins. Trust me, in the beginning I couldn't even get Julia to boil water.
As you will recall, I made a bet with a friend that I could pass Julia off as a gourmet French chef who I would get signed to a book deal and TV contract. After months of frustration, I was finally ready to try out Julia in public. Well, you know the result. Julia didn't know a whisk from an egg beater. The Gâteau Victoire au Chocolat Mousseline that she is making (pictured here) came out with the taste and texture of a Michelin tire.
The wrong kind of Michelin rating, take my word for it. All she had to do was follow my recipe.
The rest, of course, is history. I quit in frustration and was never heard from again while Julia went on to become an international celebrity. Julia always credited me for her success, citing her determination to spite me as the motivation for her to keep going.