Don’t Forget: SB Food & Wine Weekend Begins 16 April!

RQ3Hhk6pOVuZ2nG2UHYthBZInAvKKW32AUi3ODm-nuQ,aBCF0WZLyHKksG8JJYSSA3BxNfSvj0hEqj9IlCPbSyU[1]It is a great honor to be invited back as a guest speaker at the 2nd Annual Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend. Please join us as we celebrate Santa Barbara County’s best chefs, artisans, winemakers and farmers. This weekend showcases the distinct tastes, sights and sounds of the region while also bringing cutting-edge culinary talent from across the country to Santa Barbara.

For scheduling and details click here. Hope to see you there! Anne

5-9-15 Bruce Kalman Joins La Varenne for Class

UnionPortraitOn May 9th, Bruce Kalman of Union Restaurant will bring his farm to table cuisine to La Varenne.

Since opening in March of 2014, Union has been coined one of Zagat’s Hottest New Restaurants around LA and one of Los Angeles Magazine’s “Buzziest Restaurants.” He has already received rave reviews from LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell and Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times and he recently appeared on Tom Colicchio’s Best New Restaurant. We are thrilled to have this Los Angeles up-and-comer on the roster at La Varenne. Join Bruce and Anne for this intimate class of 15 just in time for Mother’s Day!

To sign up call 310.396.7464 or email

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Anne chats SECRETS with Gillian Speiser

Khs3M“The French analyze the art of cooking and dining more than any other Western nation. They talk about it all the time. It’s having an effect on the United States, as people are far more interested in the ingredients and what is on the plate and where it is coming from than they used to be.” Anne Willan in New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

I was so happy to sit down with Gillian Speiser over my new book. This one really does take me back to the beginning of my career! Learn more about the book, the recipes and the process in this lovely interview. Cheers, Anne

SECRETS featured on Zester Daily

Zester Daily“In traditional French cuisine, court bouillon is a liquid used for simmering, and then it’s tossed out. But as we discussed using the broth as a part of the meal, Willan became intrigued…” writes Susan Lutz in Zester Daily

Anne’s new book Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen was featured on Zester Daily in this lovely story about Court Bouillon. Author Susan Lutz captures the endless possibilities these recipes have to offer. Get a view into Anne’s mind as a chef as she talks about these things with the lovely Susan Lutz on Zester daily! Read the article here!

La Varenne Alumni at IACP

iacp-logoWe had so much fun at this year’s IACP Conference in Washington, DC! I was delighted to see so many La Varenners up at the Awards Show. Our very own Kate Krader won in the Personal Essay category, Amanda Hesser won yet again for Best Culinary Website, and dear Tina Ujlaki took home the Publication of the Year Award for Food & Wine Magazine! Now, on to the Beard Awards! — Anne

5-2-15 Anne Willan to Vin Goat, Corona Del Mar

Vin Goat Logo(jpg)Anne Willan will be returning to Vin Goat in Corona Del Mar in celebration of Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen. Enjoy a cheese and wine reception while meeting Anne and receiving a signed copy of her new book. Taste, drink and listen while Anne discusses the 50 fundamental recipes that are key to unlocking delicious finished dishes. Learn Anne’s secrets to stocks and sauces, meringues, pastries, basic ice cream and more. We look forward to seeing you there!

2 May 2015, Vin Goat Corona Del Mar
3326 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 673-2200

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Steve Raichlen, Grill Master

unnamed[1]Steve Raichlen, former La Varenne student and decided grill guru, is a leading authority on modern barbecue worldwide. He recently shared his thoughts on his new book and why barbecue will always be his favorite method of cooking.

What inspired your forthcoming book to be about smoking?
Smoke is one of the must universally beloved flavors (think Scandinavian smoked fish, Italian smoked cheese and ham, and of course American barbecue). It embraces an incredibly diverse range of foods—hot smoked foods like York ham and Texas brisket; cold smoked foods, like jambon de Bayonne and beef jerky. Yet until recently, smoking had mainly been the domain of specialists. As the backyard grill has become an extension of the indoor kitchen, more and more Americans are turning to this ancient technique. And, thanks to a new generation of smokers (everything from pellet smokers to electric smoking guns), smoking has become easy and accessible for all. I’ve certainly become even more interested in smoking than I have been, so I felt like it was time for me to write a book about it.

Some of the recipes you’re experimenting with are way out. Where did you get the idea to try smoking ice cream, and how on earth do you do it?
Smoke has been described as the umami of barbecue, and like umami it intensifies and highlights flavors without camouflaging their intrinsic taste. This is true for everything from the predictable meats (beef, pork, chicken, fish) to foods you wouldn’t normally associate with smoking – from gazpacho to ice cream. Chefs have taken over the smoker. In the last year, I’ve eaten everything from smoked quail eggs (at Noma in Copenhagen) to smoked bread (at the Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs where I hold my Barbecue University) to smoked ice cream (at the restaurant Extebarri in Spain’s Basque Country).

There are a couple ways to make it: you can smoke the cream in a smoker (or a wood burning oven as Extebarri does), then make the ice cream. Or place ice cream in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and insert the rubber tube of a smoking gun under the plastic wrap. Fill the bowl with smoke and let sit for 4 minutes. Repeat 2 or 3 times, then refreeze the ice cream until serving.

What is your favorite meat to cook and your favorite method for doing so, and why?
My first impulse is to say pork because it’s so iconically linked to smoking. (Think ribs, pork shoulder, bacon.) But I’d rather say beef because it’s so diverse. Beef ribs are the new spareribs—especially beef plate ribs (which tip the scales at up to 2 pounds per rib). Smoke the forward part of the steer’s underbelly and you get brisket. Smoke beef navel and you get pastrami. Smoke beef shoulder and you get Texas clod.

Why is barbecue important
Let me count the ways:
1. It tastes great—make that phenomenal.
2. It’s fun to eat because you also often do so with your bare hands.
3. It’s utterly unpretentious, yet capable of great sophistication.
4. It’s social and communal. You rarely eat barbecue by yourself.
5. It’s democratic. You can eat it at cheap funky barbecue joints and high falutin’ restaurants.
6. You can cook it in a cheap 55 gallon steel drum smoker or in an $18K stainless steel supergrill.
7. It’s as old as mankind itself and central to the human experience.
8. Man is the only animal who cooks. You could say that barbecue begat civilization and made us human.

What a pleasure it was to catch up with Steve! He was one of the first students at La Varenne, Paris, and has remained a dear friend. Click below for Steve’s desert island marinade aka Raichlen’s Rub. Enjoy! — Anne


3-14-15 Anne’s Very First Talk on “Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen”

LaVarenne_FrontCoverJoin Anne at Culinary Historians of Southern California for her first talk on her upcoming, Secrets from La Varenne Kitchen. Never before available outside the walls of the La Varenne Cooking School, Secrets contains the 50 basic recipes that every cook should know. Hear the history, learn the stories, and taste the dishes behind this indispensable resource.

14 March 2015, Mark Taper Auditorium, Downtown Central Library at 10:30AM
630 W. 5th St., Los Angeles CA

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