Bonjour! My name is…


Allie and I am the Viaduct Gallery Management Intern here at the Des Moines Social Club this Fall. For my “Interns Try It” I decided to venture upstairs to the Culinary Loft and take the “Book & Cook: Julie & Julia w/ Chef Cher” Cooking Class. The concept behind this class series is to take a classic book, read it beforehand, learn how to make a meal inspired by the book in class, and discuss the book with your classmates over your delicious meal.


Here is what we made:

– Potage Parmentier (Potatoand Leek Soup)

– Artichautz à la sauce Hollandaise (Artichokes with Hollandaise Sauce)

– FIlets de Poisonn Pochés au Vin Blanc (Sole Meuniére)

– Reine De Sabe (Chocolate and Almond Cake)


Here is how it went:

First off, If you have no knowledge of this book here is a quick summary: “Julie Powell is 30 years old, living in a tiny apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that’s going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother’s worn, dog-eared copy of Julia Child’s 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes — in the span of one year” (www.barnesandnoble.com). Julie brings humor and authenticity to the relatable struggle of trying to accomplish something you’ve never tackled before. There is also a fabulous movie version of this story starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams; it’s gold.

I will admit, I didn’t go it alone. My parents and their best friends decided to join me for a night of breaking up the mundane. When we walked in we were greeted by: classic French accordion music, a charcuterie tray, & Chef Cher dressing the part with a strand of pearls. It was going to be a wonderful evening. After we snacked and met our classmates we split up into teams to each make one of the dishes. I hopped between making the soup with my dad and the cake with my step-mom. The night was so relaxed and not nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. It was like cooking a meal with your friends at a dinner party. No matter what experience you had walking in, there was something for you to learn and to enjoy.

All feeling very accomplished, we sat down to taste our creations. They weren’t too shabby! We discussed our favorite parts of the book and movie as well as the Des Moines food scene. It was like a book club for foodies. A wonderful combination. After a night of expanding our palate, cooking/baking knowledge, & comfort zones we left feeling inspired. Each one of us entered with different skill sets but needed the push to break out of our everyday routine to challenge ourselves. In a way, we were all a lot like Julie Powell, in need of a “Julia Child filled” evening.


Allie McCurnin DMSC InternWritten by Allie McCurnin.
Allie is a Viaduct Gallery Management Intern at the Des Moines Social Club.