She Put French Food Within Your Reach

By Hedda Gioia Dowd, rise n°1

For as long as I can remember, food has been the center of my universe. One of my earliest and fondest memories is climbing a cherry tree in my grandparents grove in France, sitting on a branch, picking my first pair of ruby earrings-red cherries- and placing them ever so carefully around each one of my ears.

I moved my head from side to side just to feel the heaviness of the fruit against my cheeks. As I climbed down the tree to show them off to my family, I wondered how long they would last before I would devour them and I had gathered in my pockets.

And so began my love affair with food and the path it would take me on…

Every Saturday, without fail, Julia entered my life through her many cooking shows on PBS. Understandable and humorous she made you feel French food was within your reach. She spoke without pretense and handled food with a balance of passion and integrity unequaled then or now. I never missed an episode.

Over time Julia’s lesson wasn’t just about “LA CUISINE.” Cooking is as much about the adventures that you take as it is the end result. Life is not about perfection, but the joy of sharing with those around you.

On her 80th birthday I sent Julia a gift with a short note. Much to my delight she wrote me back, and, true to form she thanked me for my “jolly birthday wishes.”

I think she would be smiling knowing there is a restaurant in Dallas, Texas based on a category of French food she was so inspired by and loved ….. the soufflé.

About Hedda Gioia Dowd and Cherif Brahmi

Hedda Gioia Dowd and Chef Cherif Brahmi, owners of rise n°1 in Dallas, Texas, have put food at the center of restaurant and family life. Preparing a delectable meal is first and foremost a way to seduce the epicurean in all of us, to titillate our senses, delight our palates with sheer pleasure, and make us feel whole again. Hedda firmly believes “it is in the sustenance of food that you develop your whole being.” Hedda grew up eating soufflés and remembers the excitement and mystery surrounding them. She loved peering into the oven window to see them rise. Hedda wanted to share the wonder and joy she experienced as a girl in her French mother’s kitchen. Rise restaurant was born: part restaurant, part family tribute, part heritage, and part retail experience, but fully Hedda and Cherif’s creation. Rad more at the rise n°1 website.

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: jc100.tumblr.com.