Julia’s Legacy (Well, One of Them)

Host Jacques Pépin Signing a Cookbook

Jacques Pépin signs a cookbook for a guest at last night's "Big Event." Photos by Tom Urell

On Wednesday night hundreds of hungry foodies gathered at the 808 Gallery on Comm Ave. for the “Big Event,” the 20th anniversary celebration of the Boston University Culinary Arts program. Founded in the spring of 1989 by Julia Child and her friends Jacques Pépin and Rebecca Alssid, the program has grown to offer a certificate in Culinary Arts and degree courses in wine and gastronomy.

Food was center stage. And food there was, with more than 60 vendors sampling small plates and pours. Restaurants from L’Espalier and No. 9 Park to Legal Sea Foods and Dunkin Donuts presented sample dishes and finger foods. Local wine shops, importers and breweries poured tastings of wine and beer, and bartenders from Eastern Standard even offered their “Evergreen,” a rosemary scented cocktail.

Guest Cindy Conroy, a 1996 graduate of the Culinary Arts program, told me about what it was like to be a student in the program. It was a thrill, Conroy said, to learn from legendary teachers like Julia and Jacques. What’s she doing now, more than ten years later?  “Real estate.”

Lynch with guest

Noted Boston Chef Barbara Lynch served a cauliflower chaud-froid with caviar.

Cookbooks for sale

Cookbooks were offered at a discount for attendees, with extra copies of Julia Child's and Jacques Pépin's books on hand.

Steve Johnson serving merguez

Cambridge restaurant Rendezvous Chef/Owner Steve Johnson served a merguez sausage with yogurt, pomegranate and mint.

Pepin slurping and chatting

Grasping an oyster from Legal Sea Foods, Pépin posed for a photo with a guest.

Dunkin Donuts display

Coffee and doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts played counterpoint to some of the more delicate dishes offered by other vendors.

Did you go to the event Wednesday night? Have you attended a course or earned a degree from the BU food and wine program? Share your experience below.

2 thoughts on “Julia’s Legacy (Well, One of Them)

  1. kleighc

    Great photos Tom! And boy am I jealous you got to experience this mouth-watering event. Pépin is a legend!

  2. dovesandfigs

    It was an amazing event! The highlights for me were meeting two of my cooking heros, Jacques Pépin and Joan Nathan. Lots of excellent wine and beer to taste and the food, oh my the food–lamb dumplings from Tremont 647, Legal’s little Kumamoto oysters, and a lobster and caviar crepe (L’Espalier?)…