Omelette Mondays beginning in May

Most everyone has heard of Julia Child (1912-2004). It was in Paris that Julia met two French women, Simca Beck and Louisette Bertholle, who were writing a cookbook aimed at an American audience. They needed an American collaborator. Julia was perfectly suited for the job. She began testing recipes. For nearly ten years, she devoted herself to writing, testing and re-writing. She confided to her sister-in-law: “Really, the more I cook the more I like to cook. To think it has taken me 40 yrs. To find my true passion (cat and husband excepted).”

She was invited to appear on a television program called “I’ve Been Reading”, produced by WGBH, Boston’s public television station. The host of the show was reluctant to take time for a subject as trivial as cooking. But Julia was undeterred. She arrived with a hot plate, giant whisk and eggs, and made an omelet. Twenty-seven viewers wrote to the station, wanting to see more. The station produced three pilots, then launched into production of The French Chef. Produced and directed by Russ Morash, the series broadcast a total of 199 programs, produced between 1963 and 1966.By the end of 1965,

The French Chef was carried by 96 PBS stations. Sales of Mastering the Art of  Cooking” were picking up speed – 200,000 copies sold. In 1965, Julia won a Peabody. In 1966, she won an Emmy. Time put her on the cover in a feature article on American food – “Everyone’s in the Kitchen.”

But this series is not about Julia, although America will miss her, it about Romaine Chatard Champion, the author of of the book “The Art of Cooking Omelettes” published in 1963.

Madame Romaine was born in Lyon and grew up working in her parents’ restaurant. She learned everything from her mother who was ‘an instructive cuisinère, and saw to it that I learned in proper order: first principles; then recipes; and, finally, style.’ Madame Romaine lived in Lyon until she married, at a very young age, and moved to New York City with her new husband. She spoke no English whatsoever when she arrived in the US and took a bit of time building up confidence to do so. While still very young, her husband tragically suffered a heart-attack and died. Madame Romaine was then left wondering what to do and eventually opened a Salon de Thé in Manhattan. Her eventual location was at 156 East 56th Street, which is now an Antiques shop.


Madame Romaines Salon de The



Beginning in May Mike the Chef and co-owner of the William Miller House will begin preparing one of the 500 different style omelettes from Madame Romaine’s book.  We will begin with the cheese omelettes, and on to tomato, if the timing is right and so on.  I promise you each will be a delight and we will ask that our guests leave comments here on the blog so that you may draw you own conclusions as to whether or not to try a particular omelette.  We promise to alert you if the omelettes are falling into one of the less well know culinary areas of liver, kidney, sweetbreads, etc.  I figure with 500 omelettes it will take over 8-years to complete the effort as this should not be a problem.  In the case of the more obtuse items Mike and Pat may choose to have those for dinner on Monday night and invite the neighbors, should they be so brave.

Here is the beginning of the journey:

Cheese Omelettes (Omelettes au Fromage) NOTE:The cheese will always be swiss cheese in keeping with the recipes

GUIGNOL (onion, cheese)
PARMENTIER (potatoes, cheese)
CHAMBERY (potatoes, onions, cheese)
LAURENTIENNE (fines herbes, cheese)
DAUPHINIOSE (potatoes in cream sauce, cheese)
VALENCIENNES (onions, peas, croutons, cheese)
AELEGEOISE ( onions, spinach, rice, cheese)
CHOISY (peas, onions, rice, parsley, cheese)
ARGENTEUIL (asparagus, parsley, cheese)
FONTAINEBLEAU (eggplant, garlic, fines herbes, cheese)
MORNEY (tomatoes, croutons, fines herbes, cheese)
BRESSANE (croutons, CREAM SAUCE, cheese)
LORRAINE (chives, bacon fines herbes, cheese)
LIMOUSINE (potatoes, bacon, fines herbes, cheese)
BEAUVILLIER (bacon, crouton olive, cheese)
FRANCHE-COMTOISE ( asparagus tips, bacon, parsley, cheese)
DAUPHIN (bacon, spinach, croutons, cheese)
ROCHAMBEAU (sausage, spinach, mushrooms, cheese)
BAMBOCHE (chicory (curly endive), croutons, bacon, garlic, cheese)
DUMONTEIL (carrots, onions, bacon, fines herbes, cheese)
CHAMPENOISE (oyster plant, rice, parsley, CREAM SAUCE, cheese)
AURILLIC (oyster plant (salsify), bacon, croutons, noodles, cheese)
MONTPELLIER (cauliflower in CREAM SAUCE, croutons, cheese)
COLMAR ( cauliflower, bacon, croutions, cheese)
FANTASIO (apples, croutons, walnuts, cheese)
MARGOT (truffles and cheese)


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One Response to “Omelette Mondays beginning in May”

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