The Ziegfeld Theatre was overrun by fanatics on Thursday night for the New York premiere of “Julie & Julia,” but they weren’t there for stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
‘I’m just here for the food,” said one guest as she headed into the preview of the much-anticipated film about Julia Child and Julie Powell, who famously blogged about a year of cooking Child’s recipes. To wit, alongside the usual screening suspects like Barbara Walters, Arianna Huffington and Gayle King were hordes of chefs, food writers, TV personalities and plain old gourmands.
The Nora Ephron-directed movie must to be the first time that either Streep or Adams has ever been upstaged by trussed ducks—or lobsters, chocolate cake, and even bowls and bowls of mayonnaise.
But Streep, who embodied Child completely, down to her highly recognizable voice, had a ball shooting the film. “I loved food always and I love it even more now—I’m just a little bit better at cooking it,” she said at the afterparty at the Metropolitan Club, which had been transformed into a gastronome’s paradise, complete with signature Child dishes.
The film’s food stylist, Susan Spungen, served as Streep’s hand double and cooking coach; she was at the party collecting praise from the foodie faithful. Her former boss, Martha Stewart, told WWD, “It was so nostalgic for me to see the movie because I loved [Child’s] books. I learned how to cook from those books.”
Meanwhile, partygoers were piling their plates high. In one corner was Mary’s Fish Camp’s Mary Redding, serving up coquilles St. Jacques a la Parisienne, in another was the Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield dishing out nectarine tarte tatin, and Drew Nieporent was running around getting boeuf bourguignon from his Tribeca Grill chefs for the actors. “I need a Stanley Tucci,” he cried, before launching into his best high-pitched Child impression. “Bon appetit!”
Perhaps it was all the upside-down martinis (another Child favorite) but there was a pre-recession giddiness in the air.
“I never believed the movie would get made,” said Julie Powell. “I was like, ‘Norah Ephron? No. Meryl Streep? No.’ It wasn’t until they were filming on my old block that I believed it.”