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Reward Offered for Missing Table

June 30, 1998

BOSTON (AP) _ A chef is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of a tabletop once used by Julia Child.

The top is part of a beige Formica cooking table made for Ms. Child by her husband, Paul, in the 1950s, and features the motto ``Bon Appetit, Julia Child,″ written in indelible marker.

The table, which Ms. Child used during traveling cooking demonstrations, was sold to the Washington-based public relations firm Porter Novelli at an auction last summer. But in September, when Novelli shipped the dismantled table to its New York office, only the legs arrived.

Offering the $1,000 reward for the tabletop is Ris Lacoste, a chef at 1789 Restaurant in Washington. Lacoste has met Ms. Child at culinary events and said she wants to make sure the tabletop gets back in safe hands.

``You just imagine that Julia is standing behind it. It’s a sentimental attachment more than anything,″ Lacoste said. ``It’s nice to stand behind the table in her shoes, almost.″

Novelli had planned to donate the table to the Smithsonian Institution or to a food and wine institute.

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