As part of wrapping up the last 15 weeks of JC100, Carlene and I wanted to take the opportunity to give our thoughts on the whole experience, what we learned and how it all tasted!
What did you know about Julia Child before the JC100?
CARLENE: To be completely honest, not a whole lot. I knew she was considered a cooking goddess and talked a bit funny. Anything I knew about Julia was just from watching “Julie & Julia”. Even when it came to French cooking my perception was completely off – I thought it was something fancy, filled with complex flavours and extremely hard to make.
BOB: I’m with Carlene here, being a Canadian boy, born in 1988, I was a little late and out of the demographic for Julia Child’s rise to fame. I knew she was a famous cook and was vaguely familiar with Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Through JC100 and reading her new biography Dearie (stay tuned for a giveaway later this week!) I found out just how influential she was, and after learning more I’m definitely inspired by the kind of person she was and the french cuisine she cooked!
What did you learn from the JC100?
CARLENE: A lot. I was actually blown away with this challenge – I think Bob will also agree with me, that even though it was a lot of work, it was worth it. During the process, I’ve met some new blogging foodie friends, learned some new cooking processes, added more finess to my plating and photography and fell in love with French cooking. One of the things that stands out to me the most from this challenge was how simple French cooking is. In Julia’s recipes, she really lets the food showcase it’s natural flavours. I can guarantee that even though this challenge is over it won’t be the last time I make Julia’s recipes.
BOB: Going into this challenge, even though we weren’t required to cook all the recipes, I knew I wanted to do my best and try to cook them all in hopes of learning some new recipes and techniques. After cooking through most of the recipes (Carlene took care of a few as well), my technique definitely improved, I learned a lot of the bases for several dishes (sauces, proper roasting, properly beaten egg whites, etc.) and even baked three times! Mastering the Art of French Cooking is definitely going something I refer to in the future.
What was your favourite recipe? How about your least favourite?
CARLENE: Hmmm…. that’s a really hard question to answer because a lot of them were so good. Can I settle on a two for a main course dish and one for a dessert? I really like the roast chicken (in my opinion, the only real way to do chicken) and the vichyssoise soup. For the dessert, I really enjoyed the mousse. It has great flavour and texture, but the recipe allowed you to adapt it and make it your own. As for my least favourite, that’s an equally as challenging question, but I’d have to settle on the Celery Root Remoulade. It just didn’t knock my socks off like the other recipes did and I’m not a big creamy sauce fan on salads.
BOB: They were all very delicious! Though I’ll agree with Carlene on the Celery Root Remoulade not really being my kind of dish. Since everything was great it’s too hard to pick one, so I’ll settle for my top dishes! After making the Omelette Roulee, I’ve made it several times since, Sole Meuniere (lemon, butter & fish…WOW), Roast Chicken, and Scallops Gratinee (especially with some lemon juice!). Of course, everything was great, so you can’t go wrong if you want to try one of these recipes!
Any famous last words?
CARLENE: I just want to say a quick heart filled thanks to Julia Child’s publishing company, Alfred A. Knopf for allowing BS in the Kitchen to be involved with this exciting challenge. It was so neat to watch our weekly Facebook ‘likes’ climb with each of Julia’s recipes and to have such positive feedback and recognition from other websites as being one of the top contributors (even next to the New York Times, People.com & Boston.com – how cool!). Just when you think you’re from a small Canadian town…. Julia Child’s publisher comes a knockin’ on your front (email) door….
BOB: I’ll have to second everything Carlene said! JC100 was not only a great way to celebrate what an extraordinary life Julia Child had, but also influence others to lug out any classic JC cookbook (/encyclopedia), or find a recipe on our blog and cook along with Julia! While we garnered a few haters (see one viewers comment on our Salad Nicoise), we got plenty of great new followers, and some wonderful people in the blogosphere! Though it was a lot of work, I would definitely be open to doing something like this again!
I hope you guys enjoyed following along for the past 15 weeks, seeing new recipes that we wouldn’t normally do (I’m not overly fond of following recipes!). Stay tuned for our review and giveaway of Bob Spitz’s new Julia Child biography: Dearie.
To check out all our JC100 posts go here or see the list below!
Now go cook some french food!