Bringing French Culture to America

By Michel Bardavid, The Secret Garden Restaurant

I came to America with only a little cooking experience and worked my way to fun cooking knowledge.

When I got my first cookbook from Julia Child and realized how simple and elegant she made all these French dishes I loved it. She was able to go to a foreign country and learn some of their culture and food, duplicate all the food she tried and then she wrought her own cookbooks. It was just brilliant. She gave some of the French culture to America. It is amazing for someone to be raised in a country and adopt the style of living from an other.

When I cooked at Hotel Bel Air, Julia Child came for dinner for her birthday and when the chef found out it was nervous time in the kitchen so we all were on our best behavior. I was surprised that she did not ask for anything out of the ordinary. When the chef went and talked to her I had to take a pic. What a memorable evening and it still brings me a smile.

About Michel Bardavid

Michel Bardavid has all the high energy, charisma and all the credentials needed for a food knife-slinger. Born in Lyon, France, the birthplace of haute cuisine and home to what Michel considers to be the gastronomic capital of the world. He attended the Dardilla culinary school and has worked for Hotel Bel-Air, Checkers, Fenix at the Argyle Hotel, Lake Sherwood Country Club, Ma Maison (training ground of Wolfgang Puck) and famed The French Laundry which is owned and operated by Thomas Keller.

About Julia Child Restaurant Week

Julia Child Restaurant week features more than 100 restaurants across the country and honors the contributions and legacy of Ms. Child. Events will kick off on August 7 and run through her 100th birthday on August 15. Each restaurant will feature special menus or events inspired by the 100 most beloved Julia Child recipes. To learn more and see what restaurants are participating near you, visit: