Daily Dish

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Category: Food on Film

A snub for Julia, obese babies, liquor store smackdown and more


--Julia Child -- I mean Meryl Streep -- was snubbed. But was she robbed? Should she have won the Oscar over Sandra Bullock?

--Today, one of every three U.S. children is overweight — but it's much easier to prevent obesity than to treat it. That's why pediatric obesity experts now say intervention should begin early — very early.

--"Kings of Pastry" will have its U.S. premiere in April, and offers a mouthwatering peek into the kitchens of eminent French chefs. But others hope the film will go on to help give greater options to people with diverse learning skills.

--New York is considering allowing grocery stores to sell wine -- the money from new liquor licenses would help ease a budget crunch. But the powerful liquor store lobby has other ideas.

-- Rene Lynch 

Photo credit: Meryl Streep as Julia Child in "Julie & Julia." Credit: EPA


Foodies, rejoice! Julia Child, er, Meryl Streep gets the nod for 'Julie & Julia'

We're not surprised. But we're plenty glad.

Meryl Streep earned an unprecedented 16th Oscar acting nomination Tuesday morning -- a feat no one else, man or woman, has ever achieved -- for channeling food goddess Julia Child in the film "Julie & Julia."

Streep is the front-runner, as her performance earned universal raves and she is clearly a favorite of the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences. But it's not a done deal. She goes up against three first-time nominees -- Sandra Bullock, who is having a Cinderella-esque year for "The Blind Side," Carey Mulligan for "An Education" and Gabourey Sidibe for "Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire" as well as actress Helen Mirren, nominated for "The Last Station."

Doesn't it seem like Streep must have a mantle full of Oscar gold? In fact, she has two Academy Awards, and only one of them is for best actress: She won a trophy for best supporting actress for 1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer" and another best actress statuette for 1982's "Sophie's Choice."

What do you think? Isn't she overdue?

Also nominated in the documentary category: "Food, Inc.," a visual manifesto about our corporate-controlled food supply and the mistreatment of farm animals. 

Click here for the rest of Tuesday's nominations:


Times Food Editor Russ Parsons dishes on the secret at the center of 'Julie & Julia'

PHOTO GALLERY: Julia Child -- Her life in pictures

Photo: Jonathan Wenk / Columbia Pictures/Sony 

Colicchio and Batali to produce 'Hungry in America' documentary

Filmmakers Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson are currently in production on the film "Hungry in America," exploring why so many people in our country go without food, and what can be done about it. The film is co-produced by Silverbush's husband, "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio, along with another well-known culinary superstar, Mario Batali.

"In a country as wealthy as ours, it's amazing that so many people are going without. Forty-nine million people experience hunger in this nation, 17 million of which are children," Silverbush asserts. "The effect on the productivity of our society is extremely negative. And it's largely due to mismanagement of resources rather than scarcity."

Read more about the documentary (and guess where the film's kickoff event will be): 

Continue reading »

Julia Child cookbook sales are on fire

Julia child Celebrated chef Julia Child served retailers a healthy helping of business this weekend as moviegoers rushed to snatch up cookbooks, buy biographies and even sign up for French cooking classes.

The surprise surge came as the Meryl Streep film, "Julie and Julia," based in part on her life opened in theaters. It ranked No. 2 at the domestic box office and pulled in $20 million.

By Sunday, Pasadena bookstore Vroman's sold out of the first volume of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." The tome, which Child coauthored and plays a central role in the film, is credited with introducing French cuisine to the American mainstream.

"Julia's Kitchen Wisdom" began flying off shelves last week, as did several of Child's baking books and her autobiography "My Life in France," Vroman's book department manager Justin Junge said. Read more in business.

Photo credit: Jon Chase / Associated Press

Celebrating Julia Child

Meryl Streep portrays Julia Child in a scene from Julie & Julia.

"Julie & Julia," perhaps the most hyped food-themed movie since "Like Water For Chocolate" opens today, and a few places are offering Julia Child-themed deals of their own.

In honor of Child's birthday on Aug. 15, Platine Sweets & Savories has chosen a few of its favorite dessert recipes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and is inviting patrons to vote via blog, Facebook, e-mail, Twitter or in person on which dessert it should feature during the week of her birthday. Choices are: peach tart, lemon and almond tart, crepe cake, blackberry clafouti, the Queen of Sheba (a chocolate cake with a slightly underdone center), palmiers cookies, or almond biscotti. 10850 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (310) 559-9933, www.platinecookies.com.

Comme Ca celebrates Child in three different ways. First, at their "block party," 3-7 p.m. Sunday, they'll serve four dishes inspired by Child's classic French recipes (each $7): roasted asparagus with hollandaise sauce; garlic sausage en croute, brioche, fried egg; vitello tonnato, sweetbreads, sauce au thon; and potato-Gruyere croquettes. They'll also have a 200-pound block of ice that bartenders will chip away at for three special cocktails ($5). Second, on Aug. 14-15 they'll offer a five-course tasting menu ($65/person; dinner only) featuring gravlax canapes, vichyssoise, crab-stuffed artichoke bottoms, lobster Thermidor, beef Wellington and berry crepes. And finally, for those with fat wallets, they'll celebrate by opening three First Growth Bordeaux from the 1997 vintage. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Latour and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild will all be available by taste (3 oz.), glass, carafe and bottle -- all at a discount. ($210/bottle). Wines will be available Aug. 9-15. 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 782-1104, www.commecarestaurant.com.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Meryl Streep portrays Julia Child in a scene from "Julie & Julia." Credit: Jonathan Wenk / Associated Press

Sampler Platter: Haute dogs, bananas and food truck convergence

William Muñoz Mercado carries plantains through a plantation where Dole Food Co. once grew bananas. Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles TimesMidweek food news roundup...

  • Christian Albin, longtime chef at the Four Seasons restaurant, died Saturday. Forbes
  • Massive food truck convergence plus several panel discussions about food happening at the Square Meal Symposium as part of Dwell on Design coming to the L.A. Convention Center, June 26-28.
  • Cheeseburgers to drool over from the Cheeseburger Show.
  • Haute dogs are the foodie trend of the moment. Trend Central
  • MeMe Roth sees herself as a crusader, but everywhere she goes she seems to alienate people with her bullying. (New York Times) But maybe she's a closet anorexic projecting her body issues onto everyone else. (The Guardian)
  • Direct-to-consumer farm marketing grows. The Packer
  • Dole Food Co. vows to sue filmmaker Fredrik Gertten and the Los Angeles Film Festival if his documentary "Bananas!" screens at the fest. But there's more to the story. Los Angeles Times

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: William Muñoz Mercado carries plantains through a plantation where Dole Food Co. once grew bananas. Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.