While working in Paris in 1985, I landed my first film role in a film called Une Femme ou Deux (A Woman or Two). Talk about jumping in at the deep end… my first scene ever was with Gerard Depardieu!
Gerard Depardieu with Julie Anne Rhodes in 1985 film
It wasn’t exactly a stretch… I was a model hired to play a model, but it was the beginning of the career that brought me back to America, and in a round about way, to the world of food.
Program from Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
In 1990, I starred in a small fringe production of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in London. The play garnered quite a bit of international attention when the Duchess of York attended not once, but twice in our opening week. Suddenly, I found myself with a top notch London agent and the female lead in an independent film about Salvador Dali opposite Lothaire Bluteau who had just won the best actor award in Cannes for Jesus of Montreal.
The Persistence of Memory
First my marriage began to unravel, then the financing for the film did. In between came small parts and commercials here and there. When ITV picked up the television pilot of Invitations (an entertainment program I co-hosted), but refused to cough up enough money for the production, Ridley Scott’s words from an earlier encounter echoed loudly in my mind, “if you are serious about acting, Julie Anne, you need to be in Los Angeles”.
I decided to move back to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue my acting career where shows actually got made. Things went well. My first week in town I got a call back for the Budweiser Superbowl commercial, and then another call back for a substantial role in a big budget studio film… then I got sick.
Mostly housebound with Crohn’s disease for the next 3 1/2 years, I curled into the fetal position, and watched Food Network 24/7. Slowly, I began to cook and entertain again… my soul so fully nourished by cooking for others that my body responded in turn. I’d cooked my way back to health, and into the career that became my passion.
A personal chef is born
I joined a national organization of personal chefs that basically gave me the blueprint on how to set up my business, and mentored me all the way through the process. The rest is history. The funniest part of all, my new career came full circle with the old when I was asked to enter a recipe in a contest for a new show on Food Network called Ultimate Recipe Showdown. Next thing I knew I was back on TV competing in the finals!
Goats Cheese & Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts
I’ve already posted the Jewels Turkey Jasmine Burger recipe in an earlier entry, so here is one of my most frequently requested chicken recipes…
- 4 ounces goats cheese
- 3 oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 panko
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil spray
1).Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray.
2). Mix goats cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, scallion, basil, and thyme in a small bowl. Place mayonnaise in another small bowl. Mix panko and granulated garlic in a third bowl.
3). Cut pockets in the chicken breasts by only slicing 3/4 of the way through the center of the breast. Stuff 1/4 of the goats cheese mixture into each breast. Roll the stuffed breasts in the mayonnaise, then in the panko mixture, and place on sheet pan. Season breasts to taste and spray with olive oil.
4). Bake in 425 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes, carefully turning once after 15 minutes.
Serving suggestions: I usually serve this with either garlic sauteed spinach or an Orzo with Spinach, Shallots, and Feta side dish.
This post was first published on September 11, 2009