cover image Anne Willan: From My Chateau Kitchen

Anne Willan: From My Chateau Kitchen

Anne Willan. Clarkson N Potter Publishers, $45 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-609-60226-3

Owner of La Varenne cooking school and author of La Varenne Pratique, Willan chronicles her culinary adventures at Ch teau du Fey, a 17th-century Burgundy ch teau that she and her husband bought in 1982. There are many f tes at which Willan hobnobs among neighboring ch telains (dubbed the ""ch teau mafia"") with privileged lineages, but her memoir is also punctuated by a colorful cast of local characters--such as caretakers Monsieur and Madame Milbert, cheese expert Hugues Parret, bread baker Robert Haumont and artisan charcutier Georges Clopin. Her regional dishes include Pork Chops with Mustard and Bacon, Venison Stew with Black Mushrooms and Ratafia (a grape juice liqueur) and Snails with Anise en Cro te, along with fresh takes on such classics as Truffled Brie, White Cheese Ice Cream, and Cabbage and Goat Cheese Quiche. Willan also showcases select signature dishes (e.g., Roasted Scallops with Sesame and Parsley Salad) of local Michelin-starred Burgundian chefs, family, friends and La Varenne students. Willan's prose is vivacious, her erudite pedagogy underscored with tart, droll humor. While she occasionally basks in the grandiose moments afforded an eminent ch teau owner, she respectfully recognizes the community of local artisans who have contributed to the success of her beloved Le Fey. (Apr.)