Julie and Julia mania

I suspect Julia Child has a few new fans since Meryl Streep brought her to life in the big screen production Julie & Julia.

From what I’ve been hearing and reading since the movie’s debut on Aug. 7, copies of Child’s My Life in France are being snapped up along with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the cookbook she wrote with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.

Julie Powell‘s book, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, and her blog (The Julie/Julia Project), on which the movie was based, are also proving to be popular reads.

Whether this translates into more meals being served in kitchens around the country that don’t come straight from a package, a can or the drive thru remains to be seen, but if the movie serves to generate interest in all things culinary, I say thanks, Julie and Julia!

Some Julia Child and Julie Powell links –

COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, shuts its doors and files for bankruptcy

COPIA - the center for xxxx in Napa, California

COPIA - the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California

Last February, I followed my nose – which is trained to sniff out all things chocolate – to Napa, California for Death by Chocolate, a day-long chocolate-themed extravaganza of tastings, classes, and cooking demonstrations, and a chocolate marketplace. The event was organized by and held at COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts.

Curious to see what was planned for Death by Chocolate 2009, I logged onto COPIA’s web site today, only to find the following message –

COPIA is currently closed. COPIA has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and is currently not open for business, visitation or future bookings.

COPIA is, or I guess I should say was, a venue created by American vintner Robert Mondavi to celebrate wine, food and the arts. It closed its doors on December 1, 2008. Up until then, it housed a food-themed gallery, Julia’s Kitchen restaurant (named after Julia Child), and edible gardens. It also played host to seminars about food and wine, photography and art exhibits, concerts and movie nights.

Although my connection with COPIA is limited to my experience at Death by Chocolate last year (which was great!), it appeared to me that the center served a vital role in the world of food and wine. However, it also seemed to be a controversial creation, not fully embraced by the local residents. It was also a victim of current economic conditions. And, no doubt there were many other reasons for COPIA’s demise.

You can read more about COPIA and its closure in the Napa Valley Register.