This sturdy paperback book contains the fifty basic recipes of the Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen, along with the many derivatives, broken down into six chapters. Stocks and Aspic covers veal, chicken, fish and glazes; Hot and Cold Sauces ranges from Brown to Tomato, Béchamel to Béarnaise, and Hollandaise to Mayonnaise; Pastries and Cakes includes pie shells, puff pastry, sponge cake, and brioche; Fillings, Frostings, and Meringues features pastry creams, three types of meringue, and the many variations of butter cream frosting; Ice Cream, Sherbets, and Poached Fruits covers a wide variety of flavors; and Cooking with Sugar includes a helpful cooking chart. Each recipe includes the French translation of ingredients, true to the original bi-lingual English/French format.
Upon enrolling at La Varenne in Paris, all students received a helpful and easy reference tool: La Varenne Basic Recipes. The booklet was based on chef Albert Jorant’s belief that “there are only fifty basic recipes in the culinary repertoire, and all other dishes can be made from them”. La Varenne Basic Recipes was a fifty-five page treasure-trove of essential recipes, cherished by those who passed through La Varenne. With the release of Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen (March 2015, Spring House Press), Anne Willan’s indispensable booklet is now available for the first time outside the walls of her beloved cooking school. While not a cookbook of finished dishes, it is a wonderful toolbox that teaches the basic skills and techniques for one to then go off and cook anything they’d like. Containing fundamental stock, sauce, and pastry recipes, Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen will help to any cooking enthusiast, culinary student, or seasoned cook achieve professional success in any kitchen.
5 responses to “Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen”
Had the pleasure of hearing Anne Willan at the Los Angeles Central Library hosted by Culinary Historians of Southern California, and must say that I relished her humor, and that I am grateful for the historical perspectives on recipes from her new book.
I worked under a chef years ago who gave me a copy of the LaVerenne basic recipes. I cherished it and kept it for many years. It disappeared in the turmoil of a bad divorce. How can I procure another copy? It would mean the world to me.
I am so sorry to hear your book went missing. I’m afraid it is no longer in print, but you can get a second hand one from sites such as amazon, or it is available as an ebook from the following locations: iTunes, Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Copia.
I am interested in attending a culinary school for pastries & French desserts. I am from the United States and I speak English. Do you have any classes in English. I met Anne Willian at the Greenbrier in West Virginia in 1997. I would be forever grateful if you could point me in the right direction for a pastry & wedding cake class in Paris. Merci
Dear Michele, I’m afraid I am unsure of the cooking schools nowadays, but please do have a look at Le Cordon Bleu Paris or have a look at Pure Leith’s school in the UK.