Monday, December 07, 2009

Julia Child's influence hits home, yet again

Chef Dan Fluharty will tell you that he does things his own way.

Chef says his potatoes tourné tend to "look like Fred Flintstone carved them," instead of the perfect seven-sided pieces prescribed in classic French cooking.

He says his ciseler of an onion is the "German method, not French."

And Chef Dan sometimes will add a dash of cream when it's not called for (pommes duchesse) or rescue a broken sauce with a little water.

Yet, his movements, his teaching and, most important, his results, bring us back to the basic and classic outcomes.

Could it be that this chef of lengthy experience both in restaurant and classroom kitchens, was influenced by the dame of French cooking in America? Yes, is the decided answer.

"I was in eighth grade, I believe, and I was a latch-key kid. You know, I had my own key to let myself in. I would get home about 2:45 each afternoon and turn on television. Julia Child came on at 3 o'clock. I would sit there and eat my cookies and watch her. She made an impression that stayed with me for many years."

Up until right now, I would say.

Chef's recollection came last week as he taught us how to make the classic French omelet. His memory was prompted by my remarking that he had called to mind Julia Child's program in which she showed how to make the French omelet, dropping two beaten eggs into a pan and shaking until the omelet took its shape and she plated it. Sixty seconds of perfect technique resulting in a perfect omelet.

Julia's influence continues on for me. In this manifestation, Chef Dan Fluharty's passion and his considerable skills are the vehicles.

1 comment:

  1. These insights into what inspired these great chefs are fascinating. Who'd have guessed Julia Child would have been his "mentor"?