Like many people, I felt that I had lost a personal friend when Julia Child died in 2004. To help with my loss, I got together with friends and together we cooked a Julia Child dinner. We each took a course from one of her books – I chose appetizers since that’s my favorite course – and met for dinner. We ate the appetizers and watched a couple of episodes of The French Cook and then went into the dining room for a lavish, multi-course dinner. There were ten of us and the menu included Vichyssoise, sautéed scallops, rack of lamb and dessert. We each brought a wine to complement our respective dishes.
This original homage-feast turned out to be the birth of the Julia Child Supper Club (JCSC), a group of food-loving friends that would meet every couple of months at someone’s house for a special dinner. We only had a couple more JCSC dinners before leaving Portland for Mexico.
When we moved back to Portland, an initial reaction from friends was: “Let’s get the dinner club together again.” And so, we did.
We met approximately every two months, rotating houses, and cooked a different cuisine every time. But every November, we returned to our roots and prepared a Julia-style French dinner and always dressed up for the occasion.
For every dinner, people would send their menu choices to David, who translated the courses into the appropriate language and designed the menu. Mark drew a cartoon cover illustration for each menu. These were always printed in color and became nice keepsakes.
When we returned to Mexico in 2011, we thought it would be fun to have a similar group in Mexico. And it has been.
We recently had a Northern Italian dinner. I brought the appetizers – cold meats (salami, proscuitto and mortadella), along with a bean dish topped with shrimp and marinated mushrooms.
After appetizers, we had mushroom risotto, followed by chicken marsala and then three (!) desserts (homemade coffee ice cream, panna cotta with whipped cream and homemade cherry and nut biscotti).