Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Celebrating the Julienne cookbook

For over 25 years, the families of San Marino and their neighbors in Pasadena have been Celebrating with Julienne. Whether they brought Sue Campoy and her catering staff into their lovely homes, or if they’ve come to the brasserie on Mission St. to be served by the restaurant staff, Julienne has been a part of the special occasions in their lives. Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and engagements have all had their unique menus and their beautiful settings. For all those years Sue Campoy was on hand to tell you what was new in the pastry case and to share the news of the neighborhood. The place overflowed with the abundance of the good life in Southern California. Although Sue Campoy passed away in March, the legacy of her beautiful restaurant, and now an equally gorgeous cookbook, keep that abundance alive.
Sue Campoy built Julienne’s foundation on the catering business she started in 1980, and she quickly became known for her innate understanding of the way food brings people together. Julienne’s food was always luxurious but accessible: the kind of food that makes an occasion special but not stuffy. After experiencing the Sue Campoy magic at their parties and celebrations, catering customers started demanding it every day, which was when Julienne, the restaurant was born.
From the day Julienne opened it has always been filled with happy customers. The talent expressed in Sue’s food could put a smile on anyone’s face but Sue also had the good fortune of finding a gorgeous setting to frame her culinary art. Invariably, visitors compare it to that place they discovered in the south of France, under an arcade, by the morning market. Like a brasserie by the Mediterranean, Julienne is a perfect example of the complete congruence of place and purpose, drawing the community to gather under its protective arches. It’s a place where customers feel both nurtured and indulged.
On a typical Southern California day animated customers flow in and out under the three high arches that shield Julienne from the heat of the sun. Canvas umbrellas guard groups of ladies who chat at white-cloth covered tables while a young couple sips ice tea at a cool marble slab. The pot of herbs between them scents the space, until a breeze sends the aroma of jasmine from a planter by the sidewalk. Mothers pass through the furthest arch, into the gourmet market to pick up tonight’s dinner while businessmen get ready to brave the speedway that is the 101, fortified with the brace of an espresso and encouraged with the sweetness of a scone. This is Julienne, the place, and it is also Julienne, the book.
For those who love Julienne and want to bring some of the magic home, but for those too, who will never have the opportunity to sit under those arches, Sue, her daughter Julie, photographer Emily Brooke Sandor, writer Colleen Dunn Bates and designer Joseph Shuldiner, crafted a book that uses exquisite images to recreate how Julienne looks, and practical recipes to recreate how Julienne tastes. Like Julienne, the enterprise, the book is divided into sections that represent the brasserie, the gourmet market and the catering business, with a little autobiography and history mixed in. It’s a delightful book that expresses Sue Campoy’s joie de vivre in sincere words, elegant images and, most importantly, doable recipes.

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