Baking with greatness


POSTED: Wednesday, August 05, 2009

It happened 35 years ago, but it remains a conversation stopper—“;When I cooked lunch for Julia Child ...”;

The Star-Bulletin put the event together with her publicist, and the only rule was that I would cook the entire meal at our house on Maunalani Heights, using local products whenever possible. I would then write a story about the event.

So it happened, and she and her husband, Paul, and her publicist accepted and I hit the cookbooks.

The menu was built around a baked opakapaka, which turned out to be too big to fit in our oven, and the door wouldn't close. I was advised by a friend who is a gourmet cook—and who was following the whole exercise with intense interest—to cover the open space with aluminum foil.

As advice went, that was pretty good, but the real gem came from somebody else, who advised lots of guava daiquiris.

After the Child entourage arrived, the tail had somehow fallen off the fish. Faced with the problem, I asked Julia Child what to do.

“;Parsley!”; she said. “;Stick the tail back where it should be and cover the whole thing with parsley. Parsley is to cooks what ivy is to architects. It covers all manner of mistakes.”;

She was a marvelous guest, and I treasure this photograph—and the postcard she wrote to say “;thank you.”;


Lois Taylor is a retired Star-Bulletin feature writer.