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Julia, Roger and Me

February 14, 1993

I don't want to make a big thing out of a restaurant-section blurb, especially in view of the state of the planet, but I could not help but be offended by Kathie Jenkins' jabs at Roger Verge (Restaurant News, Jan. 31).

First, may I point out that the accents in French are not mere ornaments to be left off when one is feeling minimalistic? If you don't respect the man, at least dig up the accent aigu out of the ol' font set and spell his name right!

For the record, I too was somewhat appalled by the paucity of Americans and women invited to the "Merci Julia!" event. As a former food professional, I would have preferred to see a more well-rounded representation of admirers at this tribute to a woman who has done more to raise the culinary consciousness of this country than just about anyone else.

But this tribute was, in part, the French chefs' way of thanking Julia Child for bringing their cuisine to the forefront in this country. They may not be politically correct (although their collective heart is certainly in the right spot).

As for Jenkins' rather cynical description of Monsieur Verge's itinerary in the Los Angeles area, just what is her beef (or should I say boeuf ?)? Why treat him any differently from any other culinary genius? Is there a more commercialized chef than, say, Wolfgang Puck? Or is this just more francophobia? Isn't that passe yet?

SHEILA LINDERMAN

Los Angeles

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