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RI Archives: Food

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Food Festival: The Long Day of the Knives and Forks

Rural Intelligence Food
This Saturday, the Cornwall Free Library’s Food, Glorious Food Festival will have us covered in delicious crumbs from breakfast through cocktails.

The day starts at 9:30 with coffee and breakfast baked goods under the tent.  But for our money, things get serious at 11 a.m. That’s when Judith Jones, to whom anyone who likes to cook or eat owes such a debt of gratitude, we should all be on our knees before her, will be interviewed by Alex Prud’homme.  Who, you might ask, is Judith Jones?  And, for that matter, Alex Prud’homme?

Well, Judith Jones was the editor at Knopf who fought for a book that had been turned down all over town, including by the publishing giant that originally had it under contract.  Had it not been for Jones, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck might never have seen the light of day.  And, had it not, there probably never would have been the PBS Series, The French Chef.  And, without those two seminal events, we all might still be eating molded gelatin salads and Meatloaf Surprise.  So, fellow foodies, on our knees! 

Alex Prud’homme, as luck would have it, is Julia Childs’ nephew (that’s them in the photograph) and her collaborator on the lovely memoir, My Life in France, in which Julia/Alex tell the dramatic tale of how Jones hectored the higher-ups at Knopf into saying (a reluctant) yes. This is territory Jones also covered in her recent memoir, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food.  But this history-making told-ya-so is just one of the captivating tales in these lovely books.  They are, in sum, stories of lives well-and-truly lived.


The day is fully loaded with wonderful things to do, see, smell, eat, and drink.  There will be a blind wine-tasting overseen by Elin McCoy, author of The Rebellious Wine Taster (may the cheapest one win!).  And a panel discussion moderated by Joseph Montebello with Chris Prosperi, Courtney Febbroriello and Peter Elliot, the authors of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Restaurants, How They Work, Where to Eat…Globally, and More!.  There will be a farmer’s market, a food-themed art silent auction, and a sale of gently used cookbooks and kitchen equipment at great prices.  There’s a cooking class for little ones, and (how’s this for a bonus?) attendees are encouraged to bring their knives, as Nick Jacobs, a pro, will be on hand to sharpen them.  Hello?  I am so there.

Cornwall Free Library
30 Pine Street, Cornwall; 860.672.6874
Click here for a complete schedule of activities and ticket prices

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 06/11/08 at 08:04 AM • Permalink