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Cookbook Review - Country Cooking of France

Updated on January 27, 2008

If you've ever wanted to learn more about the art and appeal of French cooking , Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan is a must-have addition to your collection of cookbooks. This gorgeous volume will be a beautiful addition to your cookbook display, and the recipes you learn to make will bring joy to the palates of your friend and family (assuming you decide to share).

Even if you don't like to cook, you're likely to find this book delightful. It is full of strikingly beautiful photography (by France Ruffenach) that shows many of the recipes as well as depicts amazing images of the French countryside. There are interesting stories about the markets and towns that pepper the French countryside interspersed throughout the seemingly endless recipe selections.

In addition to penning amazing cookbooks, Willan teaches cooking classes in France and the United States. See for a schedule of upcoming educational opportunities with the author. You can also find selected recipes by Willan on the selected recipes section of her website.

Favorite Recipes from The Country Cooking of France

This book is a recent acquisition for me, so I haven't had a chance to try many of the recipes yet. The striking photography makes everything look so appealing that I'm looking forward to having more time to experiment with the terrific selections.

For the time being, my two favorite dishes from this volume are a main course and a dessert. They are:

  • Carbonnade De Boeuf: Don't let the elegant name fool you; this translates into Beef With Beer and Onions. It is a rich, tasty stew that is delicious on a warm evening, either by itself or served over crusty French bread.
  • Sorbet Normande: This is a delicious frozen dessert, made from one of my favorite fruits of all time, the granny smith apple.

By the Way

I do have to admit that I steered clear of the section entitled "innards and extremeties". I won't be cooking anything from that section any time soon, but if you like organ meats, you'll probably find the recipes delightful.

On a positive note, I really enjoyed the write-up on stinky cheeses, something that (a) I love and (b) the French are certainly famous for.

About the Author

Interestingly enough, Author Anne Willan is not French and does not live in France. The renowned chef, cookbook author, and culinary editor was born in England and has lived in the United States for decades. However, she did study and teach cooking in London and Paris before becoming an American citizen in the mid 1970s.

Willan has published numerous cookbooks, including:

  • A Cook's Book of Quick Fixes & Kitchen Tips
  • Cooking With Wine
  • French Regional Cooking
  • From My Ch√Ęteau Kitchen
  • Good Food No Fuss
  • Great Cooks and Their Recipes
  • In and Out of the Kitchen in Fifteen Minutes or Less
  • La Varenne Pratique
  • Look and Cook
  • The Good Cook


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    Lisa Ekus-Saffer 9 years ago

    Anne has lived in France, running Chateau de Fey, one of the most prestigious culinary schools in the world for decades. She has however also spent a great deal of time in the States, teaching and lecturing. She just relocated here to the west coast permanently this month. Her book is available at Thank you for your great article and review. Lisa

  • TalentManager profile image

    TalentManager 9 years ago from Suisun City, Calif.

    Great article.

  • mgwhite profile image

    Mary White 9 years ago from Mobile, AL

    It is brand new ... it will probably make it to your area very soon. It's a very large book - full size, thick, and very heavy.

  • MrMarmalade profile image

    MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

    I like the sound of this book.

    Love cheese but not the ones with lots of odors. I have not seen this book in the Bookshops.

    Thank you