Gerard Depardieu with Julie Anne Rhodes in 1985 film

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! 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…

Program from Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
…to the world of food. In 1990, I starred in a small fringe production of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner which garnered quite a bit of international attention. 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.

First my marriage began to unravel, then the financing for the film did. In between came small parts and commercials here and there, but when ITV picked up the television pilot of Invitations (an entertainment show I had co-hosted), but then refused to cough up enough money for the production…Ridley Scott’s words from an earlier encounter echoed through 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, and the rest is history.

The funniest part of all is 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!

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…

Goats Cheese & Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts
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Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 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
Directions:

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.
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  • September 11, 2009
    3:58 pm

    "Always absolutely fascinating.. !! (and I marvel at your organizational skills finding and keeping all these tidbits..I can't find my car keys on a good day!) kiss kiss,The other Jules"

  • September 12, 2009
    10:05 pm

    Great, intersting post and recipe!You are a Jewel! Appreciate andproud to be in the same Personal ChefOrganization with you….Cheers,Mary Jane CurryCustom CuisineCamarillo, Californiawww.personalchefreservations.com

  • September 13, 2009
    6:53 am

    Jewels – Wow – I have enjoyed your posts and recipes in the past, but I must say I am giggling right now…. The first concert I ever saw in the early 80's was Duran Duran! too funny. They are my all time favorite band, but yes I must also admit my crush was on Simon! I loved reading your blog and the recipes and photos were gorgeous! I hope you think about writing a book one day. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • September 13, 2009
    6:55 am

    I can get happily lost in your blog Jewels! You have a gift with words and story telling on top of your culinary skills, and this is a great way to marry them all together!

  • September 13, 2009
    12:29 pm

    Hi Julie Anne,Great, great blog. It's amazing what life throws upon you…just when you think all is well, there comes a screeching halt. I know of two people who have Crohn's disease and was surprised to read of yours. Thank God for that Food Network!Thanks again for sharing your wonderful, surprising life stories and delightful culinary delights.Aussie Mum

  • September 13, 2009
    4:15 pm

    Excellent blog. Nice layout and topics. I really love this and VOTED FOR YOU in all Categories, I recommend your blog to other friends ( Jannis, Uwbrother ) to VOTE for you. Will you grace me with your precious Vote in all Categories. Just copy this link to your browser to Vote http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/79209http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/70216http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/69552

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