In 1999, as I was launching what is now CauseConnect on the side, I became the Sponsorship & Marketing Director for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles (LFLA). My responsibilities included cultivating companies and individuals to support the Los Angeles Public Library. They also included raising funds for, promoting and/or producing special events, public programs, festivals, exhibitions, and more at the Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles. After I left in 2002 to launch CauseConnect on a full-time basis, I continued my work to co-produce or produce hundreds of events, programs, festivals, and exhibitions.
One notable event during my first year with LFLA was produced for culinary grande dame Julia Child and master chef Jacques Pépin when the two celebrated chefs were on a national tour to promote their just-published cookbook, “Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home.” The evening began with a ticketed fundraising dinner for only 40 guests from The Council of the Library Foundation at famed chef and restaurateur Joaquim Splichal’s first Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse in Los Angeles. After the three-course meal prepared by Splichal and brief remarks by Julia and Jacques, we guided the group of affluent supporters down to the Central Library of the Los Angeles Public Library to join a larger audience for a public discussion and book signing as part of the “Hot Off the Press” author series curated by Louise Steinman in the Mark Taper Auditorium.
I have a SIGNED first edition of their cookbook, which inspired this memory. It was the companion volume to their PBS series of the same name. Julia and Jacques defined the basics of “fine food that looks good, tastes the way it should, and is a total pleasure to eat.”
P.S. Want to learn more? Here is a recent blog post by the Los Angeles Public Library about Julia Child.