It gets even better for Julia-philes. The copper pot collection represented only in outline until it was reunited with Child's kitchen in 2009 now hangs directly across from where it belonged. Child's French Legion of Honor medal of 2000 and the 1996 Emmy statuette for "In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs" are displayed nearby. The mystery of an accompanying, cantaloupe-size tea infuser has been solved: It's a rice-cooking ball, says co-curator and project director Paula Johnson.
When "Julie & Julia" director Nora Ephron came to see the pots' unveiling, she wrote a check on the spot to help support the museum's Julia Child efforts. "She loved food, and she loved Julia," Green says.
The so-called JC100 celebration has been building since May — 100 days' worth, involving bookstores, social media and restaurants nationwide. Credit the marketing prowess of Alfred A. Knopf, which has this month published "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child," and Kim Yorio, head of YC Media public relations in New York.
"You come up with these things and wonder how they're going to go," she said last week in a phone interview. "I wanted to share the rigor and quality of her recipes with a new generation. I kind of don't want it all to end."
For Yorio, the project was personal. In 1996, as a "baby publicist," she accompanied Julia and Paul Child on an eight-city cook-and-book tour across America. "We really had fun," she says. "Julia was up for everything. Very engaged in what we were doing, how we were doing it, and into the execution of the food."
This time around, Yorio's goal was to get people talking about Julia Child, she says, in part through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Child's body of work — 3,678 published recipes — was the starting point. YC Media got the definitive list from the search-engine gurus at EatYourBooks.com. Then Yorio asked a select group of culinary luminaries who each had a connection to Child to use the list as a ballot. The top 100, chosen by Judith Jones, Jacques Pepin, Thomas Keller, Dorie Greenspan, Ruth Reichl, Ann Willan and Amanda Hesser launched special dinners at an initial 100 restaurants during Julia Child Restaurant Week (Aug. 7-15). A hundred food blogs, including LittleFerraroKitchen.com and TasteAsYouGo.com, were invited to feature a recipe each week. A hundred written and/or video tributes were compiled.