Chef Ris Lacoste (front left) hosted Julia’s 90th birthday dinner at 1789 in 2002 (via Washington Post).
The Sunday after Julia’s 100th birthday, Len and I had lunch at RIS, an “upscale neighborhood café,” located in the Foggy Bottom district of Washington, D.C. I thought it would be fun to eat at one of the places participating in National Julia Child Restaurant Week.
RIS exterior via Laura Padgett
Besides, it was a good chance to check out RIS, the culmination of Chef Ris Lacoste’s illustrious two decade career in the D.C. area, where among other things, she served as Executive Chef at one of our favorite restaurants, 1789 in Georgetown. Ris (short for ‘Doris’), first met Julia when she was 26 and Julia was 70, as she was graduating from La VaRenne Écôle de Cuisine in Paris. Over the years, Ris encountered Julia many times; Julia frequented a couple of the restaurants Ris worked at in New England, and there were many meetings, dinners and other official events associated with the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF).
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Posted in foodie field trips, just for fun, tagged candy, chocolate, confections, d.c., food, food memoirs, frances park, ginger park, washington on August 21, 2012 |
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AS furry residents posing with their favorite bon bons from the shop.
So good, you have to say it twice .
Some of you may remember when I reviewed Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011), and interviewed co-authors Frances Park and Ginger Park. We rhapsodized about half-moon buttercream dreams, le bouchon, chocolate covered pretzels and dark almond bark.
We learned how Frances and Ginger opened Washington, D.C.’s, first independent, high-end sweet shop featuring decadent delights from all over the world. We met some of their most memorable customers and marveled at how they launched their writing careers on a rented Selectric typewriter in the store’s tiny backroom.
Most important, we reinforced our staunch belief that writers and chocolate naturally go together — the creamy, dreamy combination seems to create magic in its wake, forging lifelong friendships, steeling sisterly bonds, and inspiring award-winning books.
You may also remember that Chocolate Chocolate was my hands-down favorite food memoir of 2011. I gave everyone I could think of a copy for Christmas, and I gave my brother’s family a copy when I visited them in Hawai’i last November.
Well. My 13-year-old niece Julia absolutely loved the book and shared it with her friends. Going to Chocolate Chocolate and meeting Frances and Ginger was at the top of her must-do list when she visited us in Virginia recently.
Julia loves reading, writing, blogging, and chocolate!!
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Posted in foodie field trips, sides, salads, and appetizers, Uncategorized, weekend cooking, tagged farm markets, food, fruits, recipes, summer, tomatoes, vegetables, virginia on June 6, 2012 |
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June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!
Have you been to your local farmer’s market yet?
Here’s what we saw on a recent trip to Reston Farm Market:
A Few Take-aways:
- Flower vendors are kind and seem to smile more. Bunches of lavender = a dream of Provence.
- Giant zucchini prove that bigger is not always better.
- Clowns making balloon animals do not like to be photographed when they are coughing.
- Eek, leeks!
- My love is like a red, red raspberry.
- 100 Bowls of Soup! Ginger carrot is quite refreshing.
- Squash multiply like rabbits. It is highly likely they will take over the world.
- Hooray for samples: salsa, cherries, cucumber, strawberries, tomatoes!
- I don’t care what you say. Cucumbers standing up are obscene.
- Rubbery green beans. Boing!
- Mmmm, whoopie pies! Pause to worship at the altar of baked goods.
- Lettuce entertain you.
So what did we buy? Basil, rosemary and parsley plants. Ravishing raspberries. Cranberry orange scones, apricot linzer cookies, triple chocolate rockies. Vine ripened tomatoes, blushing with vibrant color and oozing summer flavor.
Embrace me, my sweet embraceable you . . .
Brought home these babies and had a little Insalata Caprese for lunch. So easy to prepare, wholly satisfying, and quintessentially summer: sliced tomatoes at their peak ripeness, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves seasoned with Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Magnificent in its simplicity, laid back and luscious, with each unadorned flavor taking center stage without an ounce of competition. Ti amo! Ti desidero!
*kisses bunched fingertips*
What summer fruits and veggies are you most looking forward to eating?
*swoons and dreams of tooling around Capri on a Vespa with Al Pacino.*
This post is linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share food-related posts (fiction/nonfiction/cookbook/movie reviews, recipes, musings, photos). Put on your bibs and join the fun!
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.
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Posted in foodie field trips, middle grade fiction, restaurant reviews, tagged chinese food, food, middle grade fiction, restaurants, soup, virginia restaurants, wendy shang, wonton on February 2, 2012 |
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Last year, when I first read The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, the wonderful middle grade novel by Wendy Wan-Long Shang that recently won the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Children’s Literature Award, I noticed something interesting in the Acknowledgements:
No acknowledgement would be complete without recognizing my sources of support: my mom, who told me I could do anything; my dad, who made me believe writing was in my blood; my husband, who wrote ‘writer’ on our tax forms and has never (never!) once wavered in his support; our three beautiful, funny children; my amazing extended family; Fairfax County Public Library; A&J Restaurant, which makes absolutely inspirational bowls of soup. Get the Shanghai-style wonton soup.
Is there anything more exciting than a writer who cites soup as a source of inspiration? If you’ve read the book, you know it opens with a restaurant scene and contains many food references, including a reverential beef noodle soup as well as homemade dumplings. Yum!
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