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Julia Child & the Hospitality of Peg Board
My partner Rick, who is a food stylist, and I were both acquainted with Julia Child via the world of food. Almost every meeting with this great lady made for a story. Julia, who was from Pasadena, and like many of the women I was raised with in Southern California, had beautiful manners; she was careful to consider people’s feelings, and always at the ready to make contributions to the community, all the while possessing a joy for living and an immediate sense of fun. She was a true lady in the best old fashioned sense of the word.
For those of us interested in design, I offer Rick’s recollection of spending two days in Julia’s kitchen in the early 90s. She was, he says, “hospitable to the point of flirtation.” She graciously left him on his own in her home to style an article about Christmas with the Childs. So all of her many visitors could easily use her kitchen, it was lined with peg board and arrayed with her cooking equipment, their locations outlined in markers so they could be easily found and replaced.
Coming into Julia’s kitchen contrasted remarkably with modern style kitchens where all the equipment is hidden and all the surfaces too clean and stark (kitchens we used to laugh at and call Gropius-gone-wrong.) But, then her kitchen was radical too, because virtually every piece of cooking apparatus was displayed, certainly not the norm, but nonetheless a remarkable, welcoming gesture.
My own Julia Child story is that I got to escort her to dinner one evening. We share extreme height so I was an appropriate match. She was great company and, as I mentioned, a most hospitable lady who liked to flirt.