One Soufflé at a Time: A Memoir of Food and France

with Amy Friedman. St. Martin's. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780312642174. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466837027. COOKERY
Cookbook writer Willan (The Country Cooking of France), who founded La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, shares her life story in this charming memoir. Born in England in 1938, Willan grew up in Yorkshire, where she enjoyed watching her family's cook at work. She gained an enthusiasm for food and cooking, a preference considered ill-bred at the time, and went on to study at the Cordon Bleu in London and Paris. Willan held various cooking jobs, including at the Palace of Versailles, and later worked as a food writer and editor in America. After marrying, she continued to travel the world, developing an appreciation for international cuisine. Hoping to introduce French cooking to a wider audience, Willan opened her famed cooking school in Paris. In this enjoyable read, she discusses the challenges of running her school, writing cookbooks, traveling, and restoring a 17th-century chateau. Traditional English and French recipes are included.
VERDICT This candid account will appeal to those who enjoy light but satisfying memoirs, travel, and food. [See Prepub Alert, 12/13/12.]
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