Julia Child Traveling Dinner Series Hits Houston for the First Time: Kick-Off February 4

Julia Child Traveling Dinner Series Hits Houston for the First Time: Kick-Off February 4

Julia Child (photo courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University) and Chris Shepherd

“BON APPETIT!” Julia Child always exclaimed at the close of her famous television show The French Chef. The beloved icon is sorely missed for sharing her passion for French cookery — and butter and wine — with America in the early ’60s. But her legacy lives on with the Julia Child Award, created by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts in 2014.


To commemorate a decade of honoring those who foster profound change in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks, the Foundation is throwing a big party. Houston is honored to be the kick-off city for the cross-country tenth-anniversary dinner series beginning Feb. 4 at the historic Eldorado Ballroom. The series raises critical funds for The Smithsonian Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., home to Julia Child’s kitchen.

Co-hosted by Houston-based 2021 Julia Child award recipient Toni Tipton-Martin, the evening will honor our great city’s iconic culinary scene. A three-course menu will be curated by Houston's renowned chefs Aaron Bludorn of Bludorn and Navy Blue, James Beard Award recipient Chris Shepherd of Southern Smoke Foundation, and Chris Williams of Lucille’s. Tipton-Martin is the editor in chief of Cook’s Country Magazine. The award-winning author and nutrition journalist moved to Houston last year from Baltimore.

As the dinner series tour moves on to celebrate the exceptional landscape of America’s culinary heritage, five additional cities with renowned Julia Child- awarded chefs will be graced. Those include: Chicago, IL, March 19, co-hosted by Rick Bayless (2016 recipient); New York, NY, date TBD, co-hosted by Danny Meyer (2017 recipient) and Grace Young (2022 recipient); Madison, CT, June 1, co-hosted by Jacques Pépin (2015 recipient); Washington, D.C., date TBD, co-hosted by José Andrés (2019 recipient) and Danielle Nierenberg (2020 recipient); and Los Angeles, CA, September 19, co-hosted by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (2018 recipients).

The celebration culminates with the awarding of the tenth recipient of The Julia Child Award. The recipient will be honored with his or her copper pan at the annual Food History Gala at The National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. on October 17. Each year, the recipient receives a uniquely designed award engraved with his/her name and year of honor. In addition, the Foundation makes a $50,000 grant to the food-related non-profit of the recipient’s choosing.

Tickets to the Houston kick-off dinner (Thursday, Feb. 4, 6pm) can be purchased here until February 4, which is sooner than it sounds!

Toni Tipton-Martin with Award (photo by Jaclyn Nash, courtesy of the National Museum of American Histor)

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