More About the Author
Andrea Jourdan wants people to enjoy life; she believes in conviviality. The word "convivial" is defined as "...fond of feasting and merry company; to be jovial." But, in Andrea's definition it has a much deeper meaning. "The kitchen has always been the real center of the home, and the dining table is where family and friends gather to share and enjoy one another's company." Andrea explains: "I just want to help bring people back together in a warm and joyous spirit. And that begins with a beautiful and bountiful table and the leisure to enjoy it."
Andrea was born to conviviality. Her father was a pastry chef in Canada. She spent many of her childhood hours in the warmth of her father's kitchen, where her mother and father worked, side by side, the long hours which a restaurant demands. Her memories of yeasty loaves of bread baking in the oven, of steaming pots and the constantly changing aromas of the kitchen made their indelible impressions.
After studies in political science and French literature, she met and married American director and cinematographer Philip Jourdan. A gourmet himself, Phil helped develop Andrea's passion for cooking. Soon after, they moved to Paris, where they pursued a career in television in France, South Africa and Los Angeles. But, never, in these travels, did Andrea lose sight of her passion for cooking, always learning local traditions and adding new skills to her culinary repertoire.
Andrea learned to become a chef in Paris, but it was in Los Angeles that she opened her first restaurant featuring authentic French country cooking that celebrated the seasonal table. "Los Angeles was the most fantastic place to open a restaurant. Not only is the clientele great and open-minded, but the support among the chefs was incredible; a great learning experience."
In the late eighties, Andrea opened her second restaurant in Montreal, where she won accolades as best new chef.
Her love of cooking and of food brought Andrea back to Europe where she expanded her repertoire with Italian cuisine, "the best thing that happened to the French... they keep improving on it, but the roots are Italian."
It was during her extensive travels through Italy that she learned all she could from the Italians: sharing food, cooking and winemaking; and she found the inspiration for a TV series, "Mangia! Mangia!". This show features the best food producers, along with the most talented chefs of Italy in a casual and friendly format that brings viewers into the fields and vineyards, homes and kitchens of Italy. With the taping of "Mangia! Mangia!", Andrea was able to use her skills as a cook, olive oil expert, writer, TV producer and restaurateur to bring her love of food and conviviality to American television.
From her hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge evolved a book of authentic recipes from one of the world's greatest olive oil producing regions, "The Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Lucca". Andrea participated in other books, including "The Great Book" series on Pasta, Desserts, Fish and Mediterranean Cuisine, etc.
Chef and author Andrea has developed her culinary skills over the past twenty years in France, Italy, the U.S.A. and Canada. Her knowledge of Mediterranean cuisine is unsurpassed.
In a flash: Andrea is a chef, a food writer, a television personality and an innovator of web gastronomy. Her passion for good food is contagious and we invite you to participate in her web cooking experiences to get the fever of Andrea's cuisine.