Julia Child
Julia Child

Happy Birthday, Julia Child: Celebrate with a Cocktail Party, Dinner + Macarons

There are few figures who had greater influence on our idea of French cuisine -- and cooking in general -- as Julia Child. On her 101st birthday, which is tomorrow, August 15, quite a few establishments, especially in her hometown of Pasadena, will honor her with food and drink.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association has planned a cocktail party in her honor, which will launch SIP-tember: A Celebration of the Cocktail, a competition that pits 32 local bars and restaurants against one another in search of the best cocktail in town. Head to any of the participating bars and restaurants for a cocktail tomorrow and join in a citywide toast to Child at 7 p.m.

If you'd rather celebrate with food, chef Laurent Quenioux is offering a beef bourguinon dinner set ($39 per person) at Vertical Wine Bistro that will continue through Sunday, August 18. It's a three-course meal that begins with an arugula salad dressed in apple balsamic followed by the classic French stew -- made particularly popular in this country by Child -- and lemon cheesecake for dessert. An optional French wine pairing can be added for $25.

Nearby in Glendale, Napoleon's Macarons, located in the Americana at Brand, will have a special six-pack of French macarons inspired by Child's recipes. Possible flavors include a chocolate and almond along with French lavender, crème brulee, lemon and hazelnut.

Of course, there's always the option of throwing a dinner based on recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which just might have appealed to Child more. If you don't already have a copy, try picking one up at Vroman's, a bookstore Child often visited herself.

And in related news:

- Happy 100th Birthday Julia Child: A Citywide Pasadena Cocktail Party + Julia Costume

- Books: Dearie, The Remarkable Life of Julia Child + Happy 100th Birthday Julia!

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