Ann Willan


Born in Newcastle, 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.

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 programme which she hosted.  Her books have been translated into more than two dozen foreign language editions.

She holds several honours and awards, including the rank of Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for her accomplishments in promoting the gastronomy of France, the prestigious Gourmand Hall of Fame Award, the Jane Grigson Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), as well as being a Grande Dame of LDEI.

Anne and her husband, Mark have five grandchildren and now divide their time between London and Southern France.