Top 10 Cookbooks of all time

Spring is without a doubt one of my favorite times of year. The weather takes a turn for the better, flowers begin to bloom, markets overflow with fresh produce and both the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and the James Beard House announce the annual awards to new cook books within the culinary world.

Many of the books I’ve collected in my library have been either IACP or James Beard award recipients. While I always look forward to this season for the new book arrivals, I can’t help but wander back to the classics which have shaped all our lives in the kitchen.  (more…)

The Forgotten Sauce

Whether you call it by its classy French name Béchamel, from the 18th century French Marquis of the same name, know it as “cream gravy” as they do in Texas and much of the South, or simply call it White Sauce as the English like me do, I’m struck by how it’s become the forgotten sauce.

Recipe »

Feasting in the 17th Century

Over the course of the last 6 months, I have been involved with the Getty Research Institute quite extensively. My husband Mark and my collection of antiquarian books have been on display in the Edible Monument Exhibit and will be going on tour in the spring. As you may have seen, I have contributed to

Read More

Anne on the Getty Blog

Anne has written a piece for the The Getty Iris blog, read her take on How Raw Sugar Transformed the European Banquet.

Read More

Raspberry Valentine

For the perfect pink for Valentine’s Day, I’ve layered a mixture of fresh raspberries, whipped cream and grated chocolate with a few flaked almonds for texture. to display the layers, you can use stemmed wine glasses or even clear glass tumblers instead of the traditional soda glasses I suggest here. Long-stemmed spoons are a good

Recipe »

Book Signing at Bardot – Mother’s Day weekend

Anne is headed to Las Vegas for Mother’s Day! Join her at BARDOT for a book signing and an unforgettable weekend dinner and brunch experience that will include an accordion player and photographer. The menu features recipes like Chef Chambrette’s Soufflée au Fromage and Babas au Rhum which are from some of Anne’s latest cookbooks like Country Cooking of France and her memoir, One Soufflé At A Time.

Dinner & Book Signing
Saturday, May 7 | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Mother’s Day Brunch & Book Signing
Sunday, May 8 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Read More »

SECRETS wins at Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

9781940611150_FCWe’re honored to announce that SECRETS from the La Varenne kitchen: 50 essential recipes every cook needs to know, has won Best Cooking School Book in the USA at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. As a winner of this category, this book is qualified for the Gourmand Best In World Competition. The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 28th 2016.  Click here to read more about the Gourmand Cookbook Awards.


Thanksgiving in Versailles

Thanksgiving in Versailles

It was November 1963 and I was living in the Château de Versailles overseeing catering for the American socialite, Florence Van der Kemp, who was married to the museum curator. The Van der Kemps were already well renowned as fundraisers for the restoration of the Château, and Florence decided to host a big traditional Thanksgiving

Read More

Anne’s Holiday Gift Guide

One of Anne’s favorite things around the holidays is to put together her list of items that she’ll be giving to friends and family. This year, she’s sharing some of the go-to recipes she’s making as well as other favorites.

Yprocras (Spiced Red Wine)
Yprocas makes a great gift for anyone who likes mulled wine or cordials.  You can use it in place of Kir with Champagne to make a Yprocas Royale, adding a lovely holiday spice flavor.  I give Yprocas in old fashioned glass stopper bottles wrapped in colored cellophane with a little ribbon to tie the top festively.
Anne Willan's Ypocras (Spiced Red Wine)





Country Cooking of France
This James Beard Award-winning book is the perfect gift for cookbook collectors and/or for those who love French food, whether they like cooking about it or simply learning about the regional cuisine of France.  It an easy thing to order and send to those far away.
Country Cooking of France




Aunt Louie’s Yule Bread
This James Beard Award-winning book is the perfect gift for cookbook collectors and/or for those who love French food, whether they like cooking about it or simply learning about the regional cuisine of France.  It an easy thing to order and send to those far away.
Aunt Louie’s Yule Bread




SECRETS from the La Varenne Kitchen
Secrets makes a great gift for someone who’s just starting out in the kitchen, who is newly married, has just enrolled in cooking school or a cooking course, or even for the avid cook who’ll appreciate a handy reminder of the basics just as La Varenne graduates do.




Poudre Fine: Medieval Spice Blend (Recipe Follows)
I like to triple the recipe and then make several batches of this spice blend.  Then I transfer it to small tins with lids, stick a little premade bow on top, and give the tins as presents to those I know like to cook whom I’d like to give a small token of appreciation for the holidays.  I add a little card letting them know it’s a medieval spice blend delicious rubbed on duck, fish, vegetables and even lamb.  We have it on duck nearly once a week.

Poudre Fine Makes about 1 3⁄4 cups (200 g)
2 oz (60 g) cinnamon sticks
1 oz (30 g) whole nutmeg
1⁄2 oz (15 g) dried ginger
1⁄2 oz (15 g) peppercorns
1⁄2 oz (15 g) long pepper
1⁄2 oz (15 g) whole cloves
1⁄2 oz (15 g) grains of paradise
1⁄2 oz (15 g) dried galangal

Grind the spices together to a fine powder in a spice grinder or in a mortar with a pestle, then transfer them to a small bowl. (If using ready-ground spices, stir them together.) The spice mix can be stored in an airtight jar in a cool place for up to 6 months.

Recipe © Anne Willan, from The Cookbook Library (University of California Press, 2012).

My 5 French Staples

I recently shared 5 of my French kitchen pantry staples with Food52. You might be surprised at some of them, and perhaps you already have some of the same practices. Read more here.  

Read More

« Previous PageNext Page »