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The Country Cooking of France Hardcover – September 6, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811846466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811846462
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.5 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This beautiful book is proof that there is always something more to learn about the cuisine of France, even for a French-trained professional chef." Jacques P pin, chef, cookbook author, and public television cooking series host

"The Country Cooking of France is fabulous for looking and cooking. A highly acclaimed teacher, food writer and cookbook author, Willan is the founder of the famed LaVarrene Cooking School in Burgundy. She knows French cuisine and culture intimately and shares that magnificent bounty here. A gift book par excellence for gourmet travelers and for those who would rather cook that cassoulet at hime, just dreaming of dinner in a ch teau." Bookpage, December 2007

"Anne Willan's The Country Cooking of France (Chronicle, $50) is a powerful attempt to set forth regional classics, complete with history, provenance, and terroir. It's fascinating to watch the same fish stew transform from saffrony, Pernod-laced bouillabaisse neawr the Mediterranewan to oniony, buttery chaurdree by the Atlantic Coast. Gorgeous pastoral photography, too." The Boston Globe, Dec. 19, 2007

"'Regionalism is back' declares the much-lauded cookbook author and cooking teacher before plunging into soups from Provence or Perigord or pork recipes from Normandy or Burgundy. Willan's heralding of these classic recette du terroir (or recipes from a specific place) suffuses the book with a respect for authentic flavors, all the while exciting the reader with the desire to capture the essence of the real thing." Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12, 2007

The season's most comprehensive tome on French fare is Anne Willan's The Country Cooking of France, a 400-page volume with gorgeous photos, carefully written recipes that really work, and enough information about cooking trends, ingredients and techniques that you'll feel immersed in all things French." Cookbook Digest, January, 2008

"In the beautifully photographed The Country Cooking of France (Chronicle Books, $50), Anne Willan takes the reader on a culinary journey through the distinct gastronomic regions of France." Panache, January 2008

"Longtime French-cooking authority Anne Willan's latest book, The Country Cooking of France (Chronicle Books, $50), presents a lifetime's worth of work in more than 250 recipes. The book is filled with color photographs that capture the romance of the French countryside and includes many sidebars on culinary traditions. It looks too pretty to sit on the kitchen counter. But it's a workhorse at heart, with clearly written instructions and, welcome but more unusual, the reasons for preparing a dish a certain way." Houston Chronicle, January 30, 2008

"Regionalism is back declares the much-lauded cookbook author and cooking teacher before plunging into soups from Provence or Perigord or pork recipes from Normandy or Burgundy. Willan's heralding of these classic recette du terroir (or recipes from a specific place) suffuses the book with a respect for authentic flavors, all the while exciting the reader with the desire to capture the essence of the real thing." Chicago Tribune, December 12, 2007

"Willan was friends with Julia Child, an her book feels a little antique. But her focus on the classics actually ends up refreshing, and her recipes - longer, but clear and detailed - are reassuring." The Charlotte Observer, January 23, 2008

"Vigorously researched and exquisitely photographed, Willan's exhaustive treatise on the instinctive cooking of the "country folk" of France is authoritative and direct. We admire by her sentiment that "there's a right way to cook traditional dishes, and all others are wrong". When it comes to classic provincial French cuisine, cookbooks don't get much more complete than this." Saveur, February, 2008

"One of the best cookbooks of this year was The Country Cookin

About the Author

Anne Willan is an award-winning cooking teacher, food writer, and the author of more than 30 cookbooks. She operates La Varenne, her esteemed cooking school, at Chateau du Fey in Burgundy, France.

France Ruffenach is a San Francisco-based photographer, whose work also includes Tartine.

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More About the Author

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.

Inducted into the James Beard Foundation Awards Hall of Fame for her "body of work" in May, 2013, Anne has more than 50 years of experience as a teacher, author and culinary historian. She has written more than 30 books, including the influential La Varenne Pratique and the 17-volume, photo-illustrated Look and Cook series, showcased in a 26-part PBS program which she hosted. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen foreign language editions.

In July, 2014, Anne was awarded the rank of Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for her accomplishments in promoting the gastronomy of France. Much in demand as a teacher, Anne has given cooking demonstrations and lectures throughout North America as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Chile, and appeared often on The Martha Stewart Show. Anne's book, The Cookbook Library: The Cooks, Writers, and Recipes That Made the Modern Cookbook (University of California Press, 2012), has received many accolades, including the prestigious Gourmand Hall of Fame Award and the Jane Grigson Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Anne's recent induction into the James Beard Foundation Awards Hall of Fame for "body of work" puts her alongside less than 20 other fellow inductees including Julia Child and Elizabeth David. Anne's memoir, One Soufflé at a Time: A Memoir with Recipes (St. Martin's Press, 2013), won the 2014 IACP Award for Literary Food Writing.

Born in Newcastle, England, Anne received her master's degree from Cambridge University, then studied and taught cooking in London and Paris before moving to the United States, becoming a citizen in 1973. Early in her career Anne was an associate editor at Gourmet magazine and was the food editor at the Washington Star newspaper. From 1994-2010, Anne wrote food columns for the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Media Services International. She was elected to the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America in 1986 and was honored in 1995 both as Grande Dame of Les Dames d'Escoffier International and with the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts magazine. In 1999, the IACP recognized Anne with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, and she was elected to the World Food Media Hall of Fame in Australia. Bon Appétit named Anne Cooking Teacher of the Year and the Philadelphia Book and Cook Festival honored her with their Toque Award in 2000.

Anne is an honorary trustee of the IACP's Culinary Trust and serves on the Advisory Council of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, as well as on the Advisory Board of Zester Daily, a website reporting on the culture of food and drink around the world. She was President of the IACP from 1990-1991 and Treasurer of the IACP Foundation (now the Culinary Trust) from 1999-2003. Anne and her husband Mark have five grandchildren and divide their time between Santa Monica, California and France. For more information about Anne, her books, and La Varenne, please visit www.lavarenne.com. Follow Anne on Twitter @AnneWillan.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I own many cookbooks and rarely buy new ones these days but this book I had to have for my collection.
dee
This cookbook has beautiful photographs and clear and concise instructions to make all the wonderful recipes included in the beautifully bound book.
Wendy L. Stewart
Her precise organization, and terse instructions are just as clear as in previous recipes in the earlier books.
I. Seligman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 88 people found the following review helpful By David Akiyama on October 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Make no mistake about the title, "Country" implies neither lack of sophistication, nor compromise on quality of recipe. That said, this book provides a broad spectrum of French cuisine, which makes use of everyday ingredients, prepared in a manner which does not require a mastery of culinary skills. Use of French terminology and the French language itself, is done with purpose and not over-emphasized, nor confusing. Every aspect of a French meal, in terms of courses, dishes and ingredient types, (minus wine) are covered. Dedicated chapters for soups, breads, desserts, various vegetables, "innards & extremeties," frogs and snails, and sauces are all presented in the same descriptive narritive and colorful photography. In addition to the beautiful photography and well written instructions on preparation and execution, there is also a glossary of terms, techniques, ingredients and (basic) recipes, and, scattered throughout the various chapters, vignettes on people, places, and ingredients associated with French cuisine.

If one is to find fault with this book, it is on quantity of photographs. Without actually counting, there are about eight to ten recipes for every, actual, photo of a finished dish. This does not diminish the desire to attempt these delicious dishes, rather it does limit those who wish to make a visual connection with a dish, prior to attempting its replication. Otherwise, recipes are cross-referenced, and the index is well organized.

Technically, this book is a beautifully crafted work of graphic artistry. From the lace-cut dust jacket to the the font, to the country pantry motif, this book is executed well and presented exquisitely, which makes it a great addition to a personal library, and a very fine gift item.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Erik Sherman on December 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By I. Seligman on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Country Cooking of France is a very, very helpful cookbook by a seasoned writer and instructor.

I have 3 other books by Ann Willan,and have picked up many techniques, and learned to appreciate French cooking from her lessons in these books.

This book might at first seem, with it's fresh, glamorous photographs, superior to the author's earlier books, which lack the lush photography, however photography isn't everything. Her precise organization, and terse instructions are just as clear as in previous recipes in the earlier books. The photos, (and there could be several times more), are gravy, a rich gravy to savor, especially if you try to match the photograph's appearance with the end result of your cooking of the pictured dish.

I won't go into the individual recipes, as I am not French, and do not know how these recipes "'should" ideally taste to a picky native French diner. I like what i've cooked from the book. Ms. Willan will hopefully continue to publish, and give more recipes for authentic and tasty French Country Food-her word is good enough for thousands of others who enjoy her books. I've certainly cooked quite a few dishes from her previous books to agree.

Now, reading the earlier three books-two La Varenne cookbooks, and Cook it Right can be helpful but not required- these offer a depth of background on cooking that I find useful as a precursor to some of the recipes. Depending on your experience with French cooking, you may find one or more helpful as solid background marerial.

Ms. Willan contines to raise the bar for truly instructive cookbooks. While Damien Pignolet in "French", his beautiful cookbook, is more involved in his instructions, Willan certainly gets the message across clearly.

This cookbook, with it's unique "new" Country recipes, is a must add to a serious French cook's bookshelves.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ALICE on August 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I decided to buy that book because it features some recipes that my French grandmothers used to make. I have not been disappointed! I tried several of them already (watercress soup, the coq au vin) and I found exactly the taste of my chilhood diners. The recipies are very well explained, accompanied with the tips and tricks that make a dish absolutely perfect. The book covers lot of areas of France, from the most famous to some least known recipes, with historical tidbits of those French regions that are both informative and pleasant to read. The book is also a pleasure to the eyes. The photographs are beautiful. The book is of very good quality. So that can be a beautiful coffee table or a perfect gift. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who want to become familiar or perfect their French cuisine cooking skills. Finally, I find this book very helpful for any French living in the US, who like me is looking for authentic recipes without having to go through the convertions and translation of the French recipes.
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