September 2012, Volume 16, Number 4

Cultural Spotlight

Julia Child
Acclaimed chef and author Julia Child headlined the Miami Book Fair International in 1989.

Honoring an Icon of Inspiration

In honor of the legendary Chef Julia Child, who served as an inspiration for the College's Miami Culinary Institute (MCI), MDC will celebrate her legacy with a daylong series of presentations and gastronomic festivities in honor of what would have been her 100th birthday last month.

Child delighted MDC audiences when she visited Miami Book Fair International in 1989 to promote The Way to Cook, a monumental work that continued her devotion to introducing French cuisine and culinary technique to mainstream American audiences. Her visit planted the seed for culinary excellence at MDC, which last year opened the doors to its cutting-edge Miami Culinary Institute.

Presented in partnership with Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami, a worldwide philanthropic organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality, MCI later this month will unite culinary enthusiasts for several insightful seminars as part of its “Celebrating Julia at 100” event, including a cooking class with famed Chef Michelle Bernstein. Author Nancy Verde Barr will also present and sign copies of her new book, Backstage with Julia, My Years with Julia Child, a memoir of Barr’s 18 years as Child’s executive chef and TV show producer.

“It’s an honor for MCI to host this event commemorating one of the country’s most celebrated chefs,” said MCI Director John Richards.

Following the afternoon of presentations, the College’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower will host a cocktail party birthday bash in tribute to Child, who passed away in 2004.

A Child-inspired intimate dinner party at MCI’s elegant Tuyo restaurant will crown the day’s events. Chef Norman Van Aken has orchestrated a five-course menu – themed appropriately “An American in Paris” – that is sure to delight food connoisseurs and star chefs alike. All events will help support scholarships for female students pursuing careers in the culinary, hospitality or agricultural industries.

Child is one of many eminent chefs who have shared their expertise and opinions with audiences over the years at MDC events, including Govind Armstrong, Mario Batali, Ingrid Hoffmann, Anthony Bourdain, Jacques Pépin, Nigella Lawson and Paul Prudhomme, among others.

To learn more about the seminars and dinner or to purchase tickets, visit


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