I interviewed Julia Child in 2001 - for the 40th anniversary re-release of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And like those things go sometimes, it was kind of disappointing at first. She gave me almost verbatim her best quotes and soundbites. To be fair, I lobbed a lot of softball questions. She knew the game - she was just giving me what she thought I wanted.
But then I asked her something - I've forgotten what - based on something else she'd said earlier - and she practically backhanded me into place. She firmly told me that she did not just say that - she'd said this - but I was pretty sure she did say that - and so on it went for a few heated minutes.
She then started grilling me - to sniff out the food poseur I think. When we started talking offal - mostly French and Chinese style - she paused - then said carefully, "You know, I've never eaten cow's udder." She seemed to surprise herself by that fact. She then asked me, "Have you?" I said I didn't think so - that I still hadn't identified all that my mom has fed me. She laughed.
I sent her a thank-you note - along with some international historical cow's udder recipes. She sent back a note - thanking me for the recipes, saying we could try them together someday.
Maybe we will.