This gorgeously illustrated volume began as notes on the collection of cookbooks and culinary images gathered by renowned cookbook author Anne Willan and her husband Mark Cherniavsky. From the spiced sauces of medieval times to the massive roasts and ragoûts of Louis XIV’s court to elegant eighteenth-century chilled desserts, The Cookbook Library draws from renowned cookbook author Anne Willan’s and her husband Mark Cherniavsky’s antiquarian cookbook library to guide readers through four centuries of European and early American cuisine. As the authors taste their way through the centuries, describing how each cookbook reflects its time, Willan illuminates culinary crosscurrents among the cuisines of England, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. A deeply personal labor of love, The Cookbook Library traces the history of the recipe and includes some of their favorites.
Anne Willan, founder of La Varenne Cooking School, is the author of many cookbooks including the James Beard Award winner, The Country Cooking of France. Mark Cherniavsky has collected antiquarian cookbooks for more than fifty years. Kyri Claflin is coeditor of Writing Food History: A Global Perspective.
“Collecting cookbooks is an exciting, provoking, challenging, and rewarding passion. In The Cookbook Library, Anne Willan gives us a fascinating collection of stories and recipes from European and early American historical cookbooks. It is a must for anyone interested in culinary history.” —Jacques Pepin, author of Essential Pepin
“Anyone who cares about cooking will care deeply about what Anne Willan has to tell us about its history as it was set down centuries ago and passed on to us through the rare cookbooks she and her husband have collected and cherished for almost fifty years. With great intelligence and tremendous charm, Willan helps us to understand where recipes came from, who created them, who cooked them, who recorded them, who ate what was recorded and in what fashion. It is a delicious history that, like all good histories—and good stories—illuminates the present.” —Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
“It is evident even from the first page that this is a book every serious foodie will need to own, consult, and use with pleasure and profit, and remarkable that the authors have written a volume that is both scholarly and so much fun to read.” —Paul Levy, author of The Official Foodie Handbook
“Forty-five years in the making, this volume was worth the wait. In The Cookbook Library Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky draw on their fine personal collection to illuminate the art, science, and importance of early cookbooks. It is a pleasurable read, filled with history, lore, recipes, and illustrations in a superb presentation. It will be an unequaled reference work for historians, bibliophiles, culinarians, and collectors.” —Jan Longone, Curator of American Culinary History, Clements Library, University of Michigan
“Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky love cookbooks and live among thousands of them. It’s a great gift to us that they’ve now shared their world-class collection and all of its delights. In The Cookbook Library, they take you on a fascinating journey from medieval kitchens through the nineteenth century. It’s the perfect book for anyone interested in food history.” —Amanda Hesser, cofounder of FOOD52.com
The Jane Grigson Award, International Association of Culinary Professionals
Finalist in Reference and Scholarship, James Beard Foundation Awards
Finalist, IACP Cookbook Award for Culinary History, International Association of Culinary Professionals
The Hall of Fame Award, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
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