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The Country Cooking of France

by Anne Willan (Author), France Ruffenach (Photographer)

Book Description
     In her latest cookbook, 'The Country Cooking Of France', Anne Willan brings the intoxicating flavors and aromas of France right to home kitchens.  Drawing on her years of experience writing about cooking and her hands-on expertise combined with extensive research and a deep appreciation of French food, she has created the definitive French country cooking cookbook.
     'The Country Cooking Of France' provides easy-to-follow instructions for preparing delicious dishes while demystifying the art of cooking authentic French country food in over 200 mouth-watering recipes. Dishes are organized into chapters by dish or food group such as Soups—The Staff of Life, Indispensable Eggs & Cheese, Favorite Fish Stews, Rustic Sauces, Prime Poultry, and The Best of Beef, Lamb, & Veal; and, it wouldn’t be a French cookbook without dessert.
     Sprinkled throughout 'The Country Cooking Of France' are intriguing historical tidbits about individual regions and stories about the people who make French food so irresistible. Plus, more than 200 gorgeous photos of food markets, villages, harbors, fields, and homes make this a book as beautiful to look at as to cook from.
     Using ingredients you can find at just about any supermarket or farmers’ market, Willan offers healthy and deeply satisfying recipes. No matter where your readers live, they, too, will be enchanted by the simple delights of cooking delicious French cuisine, and captured by the vitality of stunningly beautiful full-color photography by France Ruffenach. 
Sample Recipes:
Salade de Fromage de Chèvre Mariné
Magret de Canard aux Cerises
Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin

About the Author
     Anne Willan has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, cookbook author, culinary historian and food columnist. She has written more than two dozen books, including the influential La Varenne Pratique and the 17 volume, photo-illustrated Look and Cook series. With books published in two dozen countries and translated in 24 languages, Anne is the most internationally renowned of today’s cooking authorities. Other recent works include Quick Fixes and Kitchen Tips (2005) and The Good Cook (2004). Currently, Anne is working on a history of cookbooks based on the antiquarian cookbook collection she and her husband, Mark Cherniavsky, have gathered (to be published by the University of California Press in 2009). She also writes a food column for the Tribune Media Services International food syndicate.
     Anne was honored in 1995 both as Grande Dame of Les Dames d’Escoffier International and in 1999, The International Association of Culinary Professionals recognized Anne with their prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, while in Australia the World Food Media awards entered her in their Hall of Fame. In 2000, Bon Appétit named Anne Cooking Teacher of the Year and in 2001 the Philadelphia Book and Cook Festival honored her with their Toque Award. Anne is currently an honorary trustee of the Culinary Trust and serves on the Advisory Council of The Julia Child Foundation.  She divides her time between Santa Monica, California and Burgundy, France.

Many years ago, I remember reading through cookbooks. Anne Willan's La Varenne, named for her cooking school, offered tremendous insight into technique applied to based French dishes, and I learned much from it. So I was delighted this Christmas Eve day to receive a review copy of her new book, The Country Cooking of France. There are many books on French country cooking, and, yes, you'll find Salade Niçoise and Pot-au-Feu, but she pulls in many recipes that I hadn't heard of - for example, Galettes Bretonnes au Sarrasin, or Breton buckwheat galettes, in which buckwheat crepes can wrap around such fillings as ham, cheese, or egg (and I'll be trying these tomorrow morning, as we're having ham tonight, and I'll want to do something with the leftovers). There's Turbot Vallée D'Auge (turbot with apple and cider sauce), the Burbundian cheese puff called Gougères, and Salade Tiède de Pommes de Terre, Saucisse À L'Ail (warm potato salad with garlic sausage). The book is beautifully produced - hardback with great photography by France Ruffenach. The only fault I can find is that when I opened the back cover, it started to come away from the spine, which might have been a singular defect, but at a list price of $50 it is a shortcoming that should not be tolerated. All in all, a marvelous new text from someone who deeply understands French cooking and how to write and structure a useful cookbook.
Erik Sherman (


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