When Julia Child’s French vacation house hit the market last November, Makenna Johnston, a Boston-based life coach, imagined herself purchasing the place and turning it into a destination culinary school. Later that day, while listening to the news of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Johnston was moved to action. She reached out to Sotheby’s and will close the deal within the next month. Both Childs and Johnston graduated from Smith college and in 2017, when Johnston finishes culinary school, both will have been educated in the techniques of classic French cookery. Dubbed La Peetch, the retreat will offer weeklong Courageous Cooking sessions in April–June and September–November of next year. “The focus is on cooking French food, for sure, and really, on the Julia Child way of cooking: the no-holds-barred, ‘Look at that omelet!’ style of cooking,” Johnston told Boston Magazine. “Our goal is to really take out some of the anxiety that comes with big messes, especially for newish cooks. We want to bring good cooking back. So many people spend so much money and time going out to eat. If you can bring it back into the home and entertaining, it’s a very different life.”
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Would you go to a culinary retreat at Julia Child’s old house?