About Julie Tharp

Julie 2015
I am a self-taught cook who loves food and loves to try new and different ethnic cuisines in particular. Because my career took me to an area of the country where there are few ethnic restaurants, I first learned to cook my favorite Thai and Indian dishes and eventually branched out to incorporate a number of cooking styles.

I believe that, first and foremost, it helps to understand the basics of any approach to food. What are the basic sauces, seasonings, methods, and expected outcomes? You can’t always get these from a cookbook. So research, travel, talk to people, experiment, and taste, taste, taste. Once you have the basics down, you can start to combine recipes and ideas to arrive at your own expressions.

Finally, it’s important that you use the best ingredients you can afford–fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably in season (local and organic even better), well-preserved grains, fresh spices, good quality oils, and fresh meat, chicken and seafood. Make friends with your butchers. They are often very knowledgable and can order what you need if they don’t have it.

I have always maintained that if you can read, you can cook, but friends tell me that’s just not so. In any event, I do think that if you can read, you still stand a chance at being a great cook!! Start simply and work up. Recruit kind, supportive guinea pigs for your dishes. And give yourself lots of credit for trying.

I have, over the years, managed to pair my love of cooking with my love of good film by offering a community outreach course at the university where I work. My goal is to provide windows on the world and create opportunities for my guests to experience tastes of other cultures while developing their own sense of community and culture right here.

20 Responses to About Julie Tharp

  1. Wow! What fun! Your voice comes through so authentically, Julie. And you’re making my mouth water. This is not a site to visit too close to dinner time!

    Thanks for this — I think Don and I will get lots of home movie ideas by checking out your site regularly. Maybe someday we’ll get our act together to come to one of your VERY popular and usually maxed-out programs — but I think it’s more likely that if you needed some help in decorating or serving we’d come at that point and stay for the festivities!

  2. Dawn says:

    Hey Julie- was thinking about the upcoming Full Monty. I don’t eat sausage but want to come anyway. I don’t know how sensitive about people passing on meal items… But it seemed easier and less attn-getting to tell you prior to. You cool with that? I love your classes so much – menu didn’t deter me in the least. Sounds super fun! C you then!

  3. Dawn says:

    absolutely not. i was also just trying to make you smile (what a silly post!) really looking forward to it.

  4. Melissa De Lyser says:

    Have I told you lately that I love your site?

  5. Julie! What a surprise! How delightful! What a great voice you have, as it is straightforward, accomodating and authoritative! I do hope you watch
    The Chew on ABC? Right up your alley! Wonderful folk, all unscripted, well planned, a diverse crew, with the great scholarly chef Batali, the enthusiastic, informative Daphne Oz, and the others are swell as well. Also, of course you have seen the movie Babette’s Feast?

  6. Phyllis Holler says:

    We visit family there in summer …. do you do these “Dinner and a Movie” during the summer? I would love to take part in one.

  7. Darlene says:

    What a great way to spend an evening. Food is wonderful and the films are intriguing and the resulting conversation is thought provoking, and insightful. Enjoyed last night’s Native American film, “Imprint.” Thank you.

  8. Mary Anne says:

    Each time at your event has been a wonderful experience. “Hysteria” was delightful (and also eye-opening medically). I thought the following discussion was just marvelous.
    Thank you for sharing your talent, time, and personality with us. We appreciate it.

  9. Barb Bartkowiak says:

    Julie–Recipes for risalamande and the chocolate dessert at Hysteria’s dinner. Ple-e-ease

  10. Kris Franklin says:

    Hi Julie,
    I have registered for “About Elly” on Sept. 24. I want you to know that I am gluten free. Hopefully I can eat most of your meal.
    Thank you,
    Kris Franklin

  11. Marie says:

    Ran across this website by accident, was intrigued by the conversation and the foods. Amelie is a great movie’ her boyfriend on the bike looked a lot like my dad, that French nose’ after watching it five times, I just realized how much I watch all things foreign in films. ‘ from Denmark, French, British, Israeli, Iraq etc, and speaking of Iraq, there is a Movie called’ BORDER CAFÉ ‘ filmed in Iraq-what a fantastic little film’. I actually VHS video recorded the movie back in 2006, a must see film! Q: Do we know some of these food dishes she prepares in the movie? And is there a way of getting the recipes.???

  12. Julie Tharp says:

    Recipes from BORDER CAFE? Sorry, but I’m not familiar with that film. If it’s Iraqi, you can check some of my Middle Eastern recipes.

  13. Sallyjo Lee says:

    Julie, my thought is that you have removed the Thai Pumpkin Recipe. I was really late in getting to printing. Would you, if you have time send this recipe?

  14. Dawn (& Sandy) says:

    JULIE! I wanted to quick leave you a message wishing you well on your impending trip! My mom and I both intended to come to your last Dinner and Movie (and had both written Thursday in place of Wednesday on our schedules)… so we registered and then very sadly no-showed. Both of us were super disappointed when we realized it was scheduled for the night before. DRATS. Anyhow, I wanted to mention as much so that you knew we didn’t intend to skip at all. Always look forward to it and will miss our date (and you) for several months to come!!! Sending hugs!

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