How Julia Child Continues To Influence Bobby Flay In His New French Brasserie - Exclusive

bobby flay
bobby flay - Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

There are scads of famous French chefs whose impact on global gastronomy cannot be overstated. Jacques Pépin, Paul Bocuse, Joël Robuchon, Auguste Escoffier, and Prosper Montagné have each left indelible marks on fine dining and our understanding of French cuisine. But for American chefs, one icon in particular stands out for her wit, wisdom, approachable ease, commitment to technique, and warmth: The inimitable Julia Child. From her legendary debut cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" to her groundbreaking television series "The French Chef," Child invigorated American interest in Gallic foods and cooking, leaving a mark on both the public and numerous budding chefs.

The latter list, of course, includes Bobby Flay, who recently gave an exclusive interview to Tasting Table senior editor Alexandra Cass. Flay opened his own foray into French cuisine, Brasserie B in Las Vegas, an ode to the bustling restaurants and food of Paris that he holds dear. And it's no surprise that Child's influence can be seen on the menu.

"I think if you look at the menu and you see things like the Vidalia onion soup -- now, she probably wasn't using Vidalia onions, but it doesn't matter -- the idea of a French onion soup is something that people gravitate towards, and it's something that you'd find in her cookbook, for sure," says Flay.

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Serving Her Inspiration

french onion soup at Brasserie B
french onion soup at Brasserie B - Sarah Gardner/Tasting Table

Brasserie B serves up classic French fare, like steak frites and duck confit, in a lively, convivial atmosphere that Flay felt was missing from the Las Vegas dining scene. That said, the chef has added playful touches to the menu that remind diners that the menu is still guided by a man who made his name exploring the flavors of the Southwest. But one item that seems to be purely French is the classic dover sole, which Flay notes served as an inspiration to Child early in her introduction to French cuisine.

"There was a scene in the movie 'Julie and Julia.' [Julia Child] was eating Dover sole with her husband in some French brasserie and that kind of kicked her off in terms of wanting to make a career out of [French cooking]," Flay explains.

Flay has had the chance to pay his respects to Child, who died in 2004 at the age of 91. He was one of a group of young chefs who had the honor of cooking for Child's 80th birthday celebration. Flay is also being honored alongside Child -- and Charlie Trotter -- as part of the 2024 lineup of menus at Grant Achatz's Next restaurant in Chicago.

Click here for more information, or to make reservations at Brasserie B, located in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The restaurant is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for brunch and 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. for dinner.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.