Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Anne Willan Inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame

Anne Willan
New York, NY: Anne Willan, founder of École de Cuisine La Varenne and acclaimed cookbook author, has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame for "body of work," honoring her celebrated lifelong career as a chef, cooking teacher, and author. Each year, the Cookbook Hall of Fame recognizes an individual whose work has influenced the way we think about food and cooking. "Everything on our plates has a pedigree, just like us. Old cookbooks and recipes are fascinating -- baking powder for instance began as "pearl ash" made from the ashes of a wood fire. A tapered pasta rolling pin can be seen in woodcuts as early as 1570, with its serrated pasta cutter on the counter beside it. It all leads into today's modernist cuisine, very little is new in the kitchen!" said Willan after receiving the award. Past inductees of the Cookbook Hall of Fame include Jane Grigson, Paula Wolfert, Mollie Katzen, Elizabeth David, and Marcella Hazan, among others.

Anne also recently received both the Jane Grigson Award for distinguished scholarship and depth of research and the Culinary History Cookbook Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) in April for The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes That Made the Modern Cookbook  by Anne Willan with Mark Cherniavsky and Kyri Claflin (University of California Press 2012). The Cookbook Library is based on Anne and her husband Mark Cherniavsky's extensive antiquarian cookbook collection, and was also awarded the Hall of Fame Award at the 2013 Gourmand Book Awards and Paris Cookbook Fair.

The award ceremony for the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards was held on Friday, May 3rd at Gotham Hall in New York City. Television personality, cookbook author, and host of Food Network's "Chopped" Ted Allen was the host of the evening's ceremony.

Anne Willan has had an extraordinary career in the culinary arts and is recognized as one of the world's preeminent authorities on French cooking. She founded École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris in 1975. Anne's accolades include the IACP Lifetime Achievement Award, James Beard Award, and Bon Appétit Teacher of the Year Award. Willan is also the author of more than 30 cookbooks. Notable titles include La Varenne Pratique; the 17-volume Look and Cook series; and The Country Cooking of France, which won two 2008 James Beard Foundation Book Awards. Anne is also working on a memoir, to be published in Fall 2013 by St. Martin's Press. Born in Newcastle, England, Anne now divides her time between Santa Monica, California and France. For more information about Anne, her books, and La Varenne, please visit You can follow Anne on Twitter @AnneWillan.

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