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Willan (Anne) Papers
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The papers of Anne Willan, a British-American expert in French gastronomy, provide a comprehensive survey of the operations of the École de cuisine La Varenne founded by Willan in Paris in 1975 and of Willan's writings and TV programs. The papers consist of correspondence, brochures, drafts, typescripts, press clippings, photographs, videos, and electronic records. The archive also includes drawings, ephemera, manuscripts and prints collected by Willan and her husband Mark Cherniavsky. Dating from the 16th to the late 20th century, these works illuminate the preparation and consumption of food and its display in England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States.
A few days before the École de cuisine La Varenne opened in Paris on the rue Saint-Dominique near Les Invalides in November 1975, the American food critic Craig Claiborne gave his blessing to the new cooking school in a New York Times article. Notwithstanding the smell of fresh paint and the necessity to make his way over the newly installed telephone lines, Claiborne described his visit to the establishment as uplifting. Named after the French cook François-Pierre de la Varenne (1618-1678), the school was from the onset endowed with the financial support and logistical advice of culinary experts Julia and Paul Child, James Beard, Simone "Simca" Beck, and that of Nick Brown-the brother of J. Carter Brown, director of the US National Gallery of Art. The cooking school benefited from the unwavering partnership of its director, Anne Willan, with her husband Mark Cherniavsky, a World Bank economist and a collector of antiquarian books. Willan ensured the continuing success of La Varenne and the culinary programs she directed in Paris, Burgundy, West Virginia, and later Santa Monica, California. In 2014, Willan was awarded the rank of Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur for her work over several decades on the promotion of French gastronomy.
178.63 linear feet (224 boxes, 14 flat file folders. Computer media: 14.86 GB [32,477 files])
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Open for use by qualified researchers, with the following exceptions: restrictions apply to items that are fragile and items that have third-party privacy concerns. Born digital content will be made available on-site only, through the digital preservation repository. Born digital and audiovisual content is unavailable until reformatted. Contact reference for reformatting.