Julie Anne and Nick Rhodes

You know the saying “if you can remember the sixties, you didn’t live through them.” Well my memory of the eighties (and it’s decadences) are like shards of light through Swiss cheese. More come into focus when I meet up with friends that shared those experiences. One such illumination happened last Saturday.

I met Monique St. Pierre August 2nd, 1982. I know, because I met my future husband the same day. Monique watched us fall in love in the dinghy out to a yacht in Long Beach that belonged to the owner of Cherokee Studios. He was hosting a party for Devo, Elvis Costello, and some English band I’d never heard of called Duran Duran. It was love at first sight, Nick and I were oblivious to anyone else on the boat. At the end of the day we all boarded a coach back into LA that stopped at the airport on the way.

Monique St. Pierre

Duran Duran were opening for Blondie the next day, and had to catch the red eye to get there. Nick looked at me and said “I can’t go without you”. I’d never done anything that wild or spontaneous before, but when Nick assured me that Monique would be coming too, that somehow made it feel okay. What I didn’t know until last Saturday, was that my ex husband’s manager, Michael Berrow, had to plead with Monique, “Please come, if you don’t, Julie Anne won’t and Nick won’t get on that plane without her.” She was much more savvy than I. She made sure she had a round trip ticket in her hot little hands. If she’d said no, my life might have turned out significantly different.
So off we went into the sunset with the band and nothing but our swimsuits. Monique and I nearly wet ourselves laughing, remembering how she managed to make a dress out of a piano shawl, and I borrowed a t-shirt and pair of Nick’s trousers (which were 3/4 length pants on me) to wear to the gig the next evening. There was a momentary panic as Duran took the stage. “What if we don’t like their music? Do we lie?” Monique whispered to me. Once they started playing there was an audible sigh of relief.
Nick with managers Michael and Paul Berrow

Monique witnessed many of the escapades and drama that ensued. A couple weeks later the guys flew us to New York for the end of the tour, and a party at Debbie Harry’s place afterwards. It must have been a good party since all either of us can remember is a vague memory of Andy Warhol accompanying us, and Marianne Faithful taking care of refreshments (hence the fog).
Next stop was Ibiza for a holiday, which unfortunately was the trip I took several rolls of out-of-focus film on. Sadly I do not have pictures of an inebriated Nick diving under the ropes at the Pacha club to pet the “cute kitty” that was about to bite the lion tamers head off. I don’t have pictures of Nick, Michael, and Monique ribbing me for refusing to eat oysters with them one evening, however, I did get the last laugh when the three of them spent the next forty-eight hours hugging the porcelain throne. Nor do I have Monique’s favorite – us girls sitting clean-faced in the pool while Nick posed in full on make-up all day, every day. I’ll never forget the look on her face when I told her Nick asked me to move to London. “You can’t do that… you’ve only known him for three weeks!” Too late, I was hopelessly in love.
Jewels, still lounging by the water years later

I feel like Rip Van Winkle sometimes. Where did the years go? Here we are, nearly three decades later, sharing vegan “beef” with broccoli and deep belly laughs over old times. Friendship and great memories have certainly survived the test of time.
“Beef” with Broccoli
The trick to this healthy meal is to have your ingredients prepped, and ready (mise en place). Once everything is in place, the actual cook time is very fast.
Servings: 4
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of dry Sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut oil, divided
  • 10 ounces Gardein “beef” tips
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of broccoli, cut into florets and blanched

1). In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable broth, oyster sauce, honey, soy sauce, Sherry, sesame oil, red chili flakes, and one tablespoon of the cornstarch. Set aside.
2). Toss “beef” tips with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
3). Heat two teaspoons of the oil in a large wok or skillet. When you start to see ridges in the oil (you want to ensure the oil is hot, because the Gardein does not need long to cook) add the “beef” tips, and brown, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes. Remove “beef” tips to a plate, and set aside.
4). Add remaining teaspoon of peanut oil to the pan. Heat for 30 seconds. Add the ginger and garlic, stirring until fragrant, another 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Add “beef” tips and blanched broccoli, stir until heated through, another 1-2 minutes.
Serving Suggestions: Serve over rice of your choice. I prefer lemon Jasmine rice.
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