Grazing: The French connection

Julie & Julia inspires an evening at Atmosphere

“Have you seen Julie & Julia?” our server asked us as we took our seat at Atmosphere (1620 Piedmont Ave., 678-702-1620).

We explained that we had seen the film about Julia Child the day before and that it was, in fact, our inspiration to dine there. Atmosphere has consistently ranked among the best French restaurants in our city.

“You’re not alone,” the server, Andrew, replied. He explained that business had been booming since the film opened. I looked around the dining room and noted to Wayne that it wasn’t exactly a young crowd. It was more like … our age.

Like most Baby Boomers, I grew up with a mother who watched Julia Child’s cooking program on public TV. Michael Pollan recently argued in a New York Times magazine essay that Child, unlike TV’s current celebrity chefs, distinguished herself by actually teaching people how to cook. The Food Network’s chefs, Pollan wrote, mainly serve as performers. They cater to people’s love of eating, whereas Child catered to what Pollan identifies as the natural but disappearing love of cooking itself.

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(Photo by James Camp)