A Tribute to Julia Child: The Perfect Lunch

Julia’s First Meal in France
with Husband, Paul Child
(a re-creation)

We rolled to a stop in La Place du Vieux Marché,
the square where Joan of Arc had met her fiery fate.
There the Guide Michelin directed us to
Restaurant La Couronne.

Rouen is a 2000 year old city
located in Normandy
on the Seine River
not too far from the English Channel.
Rouen, France
November 1948


“The waiter is telling them about the chicken they ordered,” Paul whispered, “How it was raised, how it will be cooked, what side dishes they can have with it, and which wines would go best.”
“Wine?” exclaimed Julia, “at lunch?”

“We began our lunch with oysters on the half shell.”
“Rouen is famous for its duck dishes, but after consulting the waiter Paul had decided to order Sole Meunière…perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.”

“Then came the salade verte with a slightly acidic vinaigrette.”

“Along with our meal, we happily downed a whole bottle of Pouilly-Fumé, a wonderfully crisp white wine from the Loire region.  Another revelation!”

“We followed our meal with a leisurely dessert of fromage…”


“Paul and I floated out the door into the brilliant sunshine and cool air. Our first lunch together in France had been absolute perfection. It was the most exciting meal of my life.”
This is as she describes her meal to us in My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006.
To re-create the delicious Sole Meunière:
Season the fresh Petrale Sole, then dip it in a beaten egg. Dredge in flour and shake off the excess. Sauté in a half butter/half olive oil mixture until light brown. Make the sauce in another pan; brown the butter, finish with lemon juice and chopped parsley. Pour sauce on the platter, then top with the fish. Garnish with lemons and parsley.
(original post 8.14.2007)

La Seine
TaStE WiTh ThE EyEs
The month of August is Julia Child Month here at Taste With The Eyes. I will be resurrecting some prior Julia related posts as well as cooking some new Julia inspired dishes. And for the fourth year in a row, Lisa at Champaign Taste blog is holding her fabulous annual Julia Child Event to celebrate Julia’s birthday on August 15. Come join us in celebrating our heroine, go here for details!
Toujours Bon Appétit!

41 thoughts on “A Tribute to Julia Child: The Perfect Lunch”

  1. I just started reading that book the other night. I love how you weaved the photos in with the story. Lovely.

  2. What an appropriate way to showcase Julia Child on her birth month and also the premiere of the movie Julie and Julia. I can't wait to see how many whisks and spoons will be lined up for opening night.

  3. Lori Lynn, thank you! Of course I remember this wonderful meal that you recreated for a past celebration. I can't wait to see what else you're cooking up!

    Absolutely, toujours bon appétit!

  4. Oh what a meal, and what a commemoration! I adore Julia Child…who doesn't? What did you think of Julia and Julie though?

  5. Nicely done. I may be clumsy in the kitchen but I can appreciate anything as long as it's wrapped up in something French.

  6. I like the way you incorporate the sepia colored photos, the food and the scenery – it is very effective. The pictures of the food as usual make one very hungry. You should have a comment on your blog like “warning, not to be read on an empty stomach” !

  7. A wonderful tribute to Julia Child and a lovely lunch! I felt like I was there watching Julia eat when reading your post!

  8. I love french lunch… oysters on shells, duck dishes with salad, crisp french white wine and soft creamy cheese… It is very authentic and gorgeous! Sepia photos are beautiful.

  9. I recently read that book and just loved it – along with "Julie and Julia." I love the way you recreated that first meal in France – that was a beautiful homage to Julia.
    I cooked a dish from her first cookbook last night and plan to blog about that too.

  10. Such a lovely tribute! A whole month to talk about Julia: how nice. I have watched a couple of videos of Julia on PBS: they are such fun.

  11. Ditto on Julia's comment – great photos & story. I'm looking forward to more. I'm also looking forward to the movie Julia & Julia. Meryl Streep sounded perfect on the radio clip I heard.

  12. The book sounds amazing and interesting.
    I love sole , unfortunately , here, is very expensive, but the recipe, makes that i think in spent extra money to buy one . Yummy

  13. Julia, Julia,
    thanks for the memories!

    I learned to cook with Julia. My very first cookbook, the paperback edition of "Cooking with Julia," is falling to pieces. Some parts are held together by red tape (!) that my friend V. from Sweden one day lovingly applied to put it all together again, after she had borrowed the book for her very first Thanksgiving turkey in DC.

    I learned to eat like a gourmet in my mother's and many a Roman kitchen, but it was Julia who taught me how to recreate those flavors!

    My children and I watched many a rerun of her TV series, the last one with Jacques Pépin. My then 11 year old son got so inspired, that one fine evening, when we went out, he cooked himself Moules Marinière (from frozen mussels he found in the freezer) on a bed of tagliatelle. Imagine my sursprise when, days later, he showed me the picture he had taken of his meal: Served as nicely as Julia would have, with two lighted candles alongside the plate! And when I found out he had also made the pasta from scratch, I almost cried! Merci, Julia, and not only for the memories (and the fabulous bagels that little chef made from her Baking with Julia recipe – the best ever!).

  14. What a wonderful post. Thanks for the reminder of her birthday and the annual event. I have a very fond spot for Julia, an amazon woman, in the best sense of the word, amongst us.

  15. Kudos for a beautiful article. Wonderful sentiment, great photos. I have to say that the sole meuniere Julia ate was most certainly not a Petrale but a Dover sole, and most likely, dipped in milk, flour, sauteed, then boned tableside by the skilled waiter. On Julia's insistence that "What we need is a restaurant with a good Dover sole meuniere", I have Dover sole on my restaurant's menu now, where it's a best seller. At the last restaurant I was chef at we sold two and one-half tons a year – and until she passed away, Julia was a regular customer. She didn't always have the sole, but she enjoyed it when she did. Thanks a lot for your beautiful blog.

  16. I really need to pick up that book! I loved Julia Child and her fun personality! your photos are breathtaking and very artistic

  17. Unlike most Americans I didn't grow up with Julia Child, but I love her narratives. Great recreation too 🙂

  18. Hey Lori-Lynn,

    I couldn't find your email, so I'm leaving this here: You won the Julie & Julia ticket give-away!

    The movie is actually tonight, not Thursday. Sorry about the last minute change.

    Pls. send me your full name ASAP so it can be put on a list at the theater. Be sure to get there early to get a good seat, as it's first come, first serve.

    Tuesday, August 4th
    Landmark Theatre
    10850 W. Pico Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA

    Bon Appetit!

  19. Lori-Lynn – What a lovely post (as usual) and pictures of Paris. I just finished the book and love that you're recreating some of her meals with her memoirs. Bon appetit and happy cooking.
    – Zahavah

  20. What a wonderful tribute to Julia. She is my favorite as well. I have all of her books, and made many dishes using her recipes. They are all delicious I must say.

  21. Such an inspired post! I loved reading it – such a lovely homage to the great Julia.

  22. Perhaps the most famous meal every enjoyed in France – thanks so much for bringing it to life!

  23. I just finished Julia Child's "My Life in France" and saw the movie today. Meryl Streep was brilliant of the enthusiastic Julia. This dish looks wonderful. Browned butter really does wonders for fish!

  24. Oh how you will love the movie!
    Though I fear they did not got to the real Rouen for the shoot, but rather Brooklyn tsk tsk 🙁
    Wonderful post!

  25. Thanks Carol – I was listening to the interview as I was writing the post on her Roast Chicken. Very cool! Thanks for that link!

  26. Wow! Your photos are fabulous as always, I wish my screen is edible lol! I am currently reading the Julie and Julia book and I totally love it, haven't seen the movie yet (maybe this weekend). I so want to buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking myself and start cooking from it now.

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