Many of us have a connection to a particular woman who commanded the kitchen at family gatherings, as well as memories that evoke sounds, smells, tastes, and sights that we try and recreate with our present day families from recipes scrawled on index cards. Anne Willan unpacks the stories of female cookbook writers throughout history and their recipes, methods,and backgrounds that have influenced many aspects of our own kitchen practices today. Women like Fannie Farmer, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Marcella Hazan, with all of their notoriety, still had a process of utility, economy, discovery, sometimes failure, and ultimately creation.
Culinary historian Anne Willan traces the origins of American cooking through profiles of twelve essential women cookbook writers--from Hannah Woolley in the mid-1600s to Fannie Farmer, Julia Child, and Alice Waters--highlighting their key historical contributions and most representative recipes.Anne Willan, multi-award-winning culinary historian, cookbook writer, cooking teacher, and founder of La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, explores the lives and work of women cookbook authors whose important books have defined cooking over the past three hundred years. Beginning with the first published cookbook by Hannah Woolley in 1661, up to Alice Waters today, these women, and books, created the canon of the American table. Focusing on the figures behind the recipes, Women in the Kitchen traces the development of American home cooking from the first, early colonial days to transformative cookbooks by Fannie Farmer, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Marcella Hazan. Willan offers a short biography of each influential woman, including her background, and a description of the seminal books she authored. These women inspired one another, and in part owe their places in cooking history to those who came before them. Featuring fifty original recipes, as well as updated versions Willan has tested and modernized for the contemporary kitchen, this engaging narrative seamlessly moves through history to help readers understand how female cookbook authors have shaped American cooking today.