One Soufflé at a Time: A Memoir of Food and France [NOOK Book]

Overview

Anne Willan demystified classic French culinary technique for regular people who love food.  Her legendary La Varenne Cooking School—in its original location in Paris and later in its longtime home in Burgundy—trained chefs, food writers and home cooks. Under Willan’s cheerful, no-nonsense instruction, anyone could learn to truss a chicken, make a bernaise, or loft a soufflé.

In One Soufflé at a Time, Willan tells her story and the story of the food-world greats—including ...

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One Soufflé at a Time: A Memoir of Food and France

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Overview

Anne Willan demystified classic French culinary technique for regular people who love food.  Her legendary La Varenne Cooking School—in its original location in Paris and later in its longtime home in Burgundy—trained chefs, food writers and home cooks. Under Willan’s cheerful, no-nonsense instruction, anyone could learn to truss a chicken, make a bernaise, or loft a soufflé.

In One Soufflé at a Time, Willan tells her story and the story of the food-world greats—including Julia Child, James Beard, Simone Beck, Craig Claiborne, Richard Olney, and others—who changed how the world eats and who made cooking fun.  She writes about how a sturdy English girl from Yorkshire made it not only to the stove, but to France, and how she overcame the exceptionally closed male world of French cuisine to found and run her school.  Willan’s story is warm and rich, funny and fragrant with the smells of the country cooking of France.  It’s also full of the creative culinary ferment of the 1970s—a decade when herbs came back to life and freshness took over, when the seeds of our modern day obsession with food and ingredients were sown.

Tens of thousands of students have learned from Willan, not just at La Varenne, but through her large, ambitious Look & Cook book series and twenty-six-part PBS program.  Now One Soufflé at a Time --which features fifty of her favorite recipes, from Coquille St. Jacques to Chocolate Snowball--brings Willan's own story of her life to the center of the banquet table.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Willan] shares her adventures in life, love and cheese balls in the delectable memoir One Soufflé at a Time, which also comes peppered with her favorite recipes."—T, The New York Times Magazine

"Ms. Willan tells the story of her life—interespersing it generously with recipes, classic French and otherwise—in an easygoing, readable style, full of anecdote and insight."—Colman Andrews, Wall Street Journal

"Woven into the story of how she managed to build a culinary school in Paris, Willan shares anecdotes from her interactions with Julia Child...making one of the most legendary figures in cooking seem like an old friend. Somehow she does the same with food."—Saveur

"An episodic career memoir interwoven with momentous life occasions, from cross-Atlantic moves to weddings and deaths. Compelling chapters on La Varenne in Paris and its courses at Château du Feÿ in Burgundy reveal the pleasures and complications of working in the kitchen...A charming...portrait of a woman determined to bring French cuisine to a wider audience, with emphasis on traditional, accessible recipes that respect the intellectual side of cookery."—Kirkus Reviews

"Willan, who founded LaVarenne Cooking School in Paris, shares her life story in this charming memoir."—Library Journal

 "When Julia Child introduced me to her dear friend, Anne Willan, she said, 'You must get to know Anne, she is remarkable!' Julia was almost right: Anne is extraordinary!  For those of us who love Anne and have admired – and benefited – from her work (she trained some of my favorite chefs and editors), this memoir is filled with insights, lessons, inspiration and so many tales of adventure.  And for those of you who are just meeting Anne, you’re lucky – you have a treat in store."—Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table and co-owner of Beurre & Sel cookies

"Anne Willan and her LaVarenne way have quite simply shaped modern food writing like no one else."—Virginia Willis, author of Bon Appetit, Y'all

"Direct, forthright...It's fun to watch [Willan] calmly punch a hole through the glass ceiling of the culinary world."—The Oregonian

"Anne Willan’s kitchen memoir reads like a season of Downton Abbey—castles, high society, far-flung romance, and the riveting story of how a Yorkshire woman broke through the closed male ranks of the French culinary world to found La Varenne, one of the great cooking schools of our day." — Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook

 

Library Journal
09/01/2013
Cookbook writer Willan (The Country Cooking of France), who founded La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, shares her life story in this charming memoir. Born in England in 1938, Willan grew up in Yorkshire, where she enjoyed watching her family's cook at work. She gained an enthusiasm for food and cooking, a preference considered ill-bred at the time, and went on to study at the Cordon Bleu in London and Paris. Willan held various cooking jobs, including at the Palace of Versailles, and later worked as a food writer and editor in America. After marrying, she continued to travel the world, developing an appreciation for international cuisine. Hoping to introduce French cooking to a wider audience, Willan opened her famed cooking school in Paris. In this enjoyable read, she discusses the challenges of running her school, writing cookbooks, traveling, and restoring a 17th-century chateau. Traditional English and French recipes are included. VERDICT This candid account will appeal to those who enjoy light but satisfying memoirs, travel, and food. [See Prepub Alert, 12/13/12.]—Melissa Stoeger, Deerfield P.L., IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466837027
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/17/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 690,128
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author



ANNE WILLAN is one of the world’s authorities on French cooking with more than fifty years of experience as a teacher, cookbook author and food columnist.  She founded Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in 1975. Her most recent books are The Cookbook Library: The Cooks, Writers and Recipes that Made the Modern Cookbook, with her husband, Mark Cherniavsky, which won the Jane Grigson Award for outstanding literary writing, and The Country Cooking of France, which took two James Beard Foundation Book Awards.  Willan was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2013 for her body of work.  She lives in Santa Monica, California and in France.

AMY FRIEDMAN is the author of Desperado's Wife: A Memoir. She writes the internationally syndicated "Tell Me a Story" column  for Universal Press Syndicate.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 28, 2014

    I've always been interested in international cuisines, and Frenc

    I've always been interested in international cuisines, and French cuisine fascinates me. I was definitely looking forward to a great book on life and food in France. The first "issue" came up just 4 pages into the book. The author is talking about technique and how it's important to do things the way the French do them if you're cooking French cuisine. In talking about different techniques used in "Fillets of Sole Provençale", she states that tomatoes must be peeled and seeded. However, the actual recipe only tells you to core, seed and chop the tomatoes. If you're an experienced cook, this won't be an issue, but for many people, they may not have had the experience to just know what to do. If technique is so important, include it in the actual recipe!

    The recipes in this book are great. It's as much or more memoir than cookbook, but there are still some great, classic recipes here that are well worth your time. The memoir portion—well, you’ll have to decide for yourself. The author was very big on her privileged childhood, and lots of name-dropping as time went on. The writing came across as though the author feels very superior to whoever might be reading this book. That was a real down side for me. It all depends on what you're looking for in a book.

    I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press through the Lisa Ekus Group for my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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