Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are the 2018 recipients of the 2018 Julia Child Award. The Too Hot Tamales chefs have selected the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs and the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new culinary training program as their charities of choice to receive the $25,000 grants from the Foundation.
Chefs Milliken and Feniger first met Julia Child at their City Café in the early 1980’s.
“Our kitchen was probably twelve feet by twelve feet – we had two hibachi grills in the back parking lot. So we put a stove in and we had one bathroom that was in our tiny kitchen. Julia came walking into the kitchen to use the bathroom and knocked her head on the pots and pans and I was on the floor in front of the refrigerator which was in front of the bathroom!” said Feniger. “From that point on, whenever we would do anything with her she was always so wonderful and humble. She was one of those giving, caring people, so down to earth, really an inspiration for me. The way she treated us and everyone around her was so crazy respectful.”
After learning of winning the Julia Child Award, both chefs were thrilled and honored. “I was personally blown away, so surprised and thrilled and honored. Julia was a huge influence on my career. The way she worked and interacted with her fans made a huge impression on me. I’ve always remembered that and tried to emulate her style. She was always interested in and engage with the people around her. Getting this award with her name on it is the pinnacle. I am blown away, “ said Milliken.
Next up for the female chef duo is a new restaurant in Santa Monica in fall 2018 which will be open all day and for dinner service. The new eatery will focus on Mexican small plates and micro brews. Both chefs will also be participating in the upcoming Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival from August 22 – 26th.