Update: See who the winners are at Betty Cichy’s blog. Betty is also encouraging readers to continue cooking – and blogging about it. See her column for more details.

I opened up the Bucks County Courier Times/The Intelligencer yesterday to the Food Section (of course). I’ve become a follower of Betty Cichy. She does great, creative articles on local food people, restaurants and stores. I wish I could link to more of her stories but the newspaper doesn’t post Lifestyle/Food pieces online. Hmmn. I think there’s a letter to the publisher in my future.

Mastering Art of French CookingBetty is running a contest involving food and blogging. How could I not like it? If you haven’t heard, a movie-based-on-the-book is coming out in August called, “Julia & Julie.” It tracks the famous cook and TV chef Julia Child’s beginnings and career. For those of you not old enough to remember anything before the Food Network, Julia WAS THE FIRST. The book was written by blogger Julie Powell, a New York office worker, who decided over the course of a year to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and blog about it.

Now Betty has thrown down the potholder, so to speak. She is challenging folks to try a Julia recipe and blog about it. Here are the contest rules:

We’d like you to be like Julie on a small scale. Pick a recipe from one of Julia Child’s first four cookbooks, follow it step by step, and blog about your experience. Choose a recipe that challenges or intrigues you in some way …

Make your post as interesting and personal as you can. Tell us why you chose that particular recipe. Describe the problems and disasters you had along the way, from shopping to serving. Look back over the experience and reflect on what you learned from it, and whether you think the recipe is worth making again. If you did make it again, how would you change it? Are there ways you’d update or simplify the recipe for 21st century cooks?

Take some pictures and notes as you follow the recipe, and when you’ve finished, tell us how it went in a post on the Julie/Julia blog we’ve set up on phillyBurbs. When all the entries have been posted, readers will be able to go online and vote for their favorite blogger.

As for judging, the top vote-getter and two bloggers chosen by a panel of experts will compete in a cook-off at Manny Brown’s in Neshaminy Mall on Aug. 5. Each of the three finalists will put on a little cooking show, demonstrating key steps in the recipe and then showing off the finished product.  A panel of judges will choose the grand-prize winner and two runners-up. Then the contestants and the audience will attend a free screening of “Julie & Julia.” Go to the newspaper’s website for the full contest rules.

I must admit, I’m intrigued – and intimidated. I started cooking in the ’80’s and by that time classic French cooking was considered passe, and Julia Child, well, I think Saturday Night Live took a few jabs at her (or was it she just sounded too much like Terry Jones from Monty Python?) I will admit, publicly, that I don’t even own a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But I’m seriously considering it. I mean, after all, what kind of food blogger would I be? I’ll keep you “posted.”

2 Responses to French Cooking and American Blogging

  1. Marcia Nye says:

    Just came upon your post! I was the first-place winner in this contest with Julia’s Bouillabaisse recipe! Feeling nostalgic tonight since I’m preparing a reprise on Saturday night for a group of my French-speaking acquaintances! Can’t believe the contest was three years ago!

  2. Marcia Nye says:

    Oops – I’m mathematically challenged – the contest was just two years ago. Whew!

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