Julia Child

Depending upon the establishment, service industry types encounter all sorts, including celebs. Events such as this weekend's Big Sur Food and Wine Festival, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February and Car Week bring in stars from many different heavens.

And, of course, many make this area their home. Oh, it's Clint—again.

But reader Bruce Roberts, a former server, sent in this account of a particular memorable night working at the Highlands Inn in Carmel Highlands:

I was waiting tables at the beautiful Highlands Inn. I was doing some side-work in the kitchen when the Maitre d' notified me that he had just seated a new table. "Wait till you see who it is!" he said. I approached the table with my usual, "Good evening, so nice to see you" greeting.

It was Julia Child and her husband!

She was there for The Masters of Food and Wine Program that The Inn was sponsoring. I took a cocktail order (Whiskey straight-up for Julia!), delivered the cocktails, and headed back into the kitchen. "I've got Julia Child on table five, chef." The chef responded with something like "And I've got the Queen of England on table six."

After peering from the kitchen door, and seeing that it was in fact Julia Child; he proclaimed, "Tell her that her meal is comped. She eats for free!" Julia was fantastic and chatty, asking questions about each course; and displayed a hearty appetite.

And yes, she left a sizable tip. Best tip of all though was a story that I never tire of retelling.

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