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Look and Cook books

by Anne Willan

Anne Willan has always been an inspiration to me, and I knew at some point I wanted to feature her talent on the blog.

When I found Willan’s Look and Cook series, I was excited for the opportunity they presented, not only because I love her recipes but also because the books are an innovative and forward-thinking.

Willan believed in the accessibility of haute French cuisine, evident in the Look and Cook series. Before the age of Instagram and TikTok, Willan incorporated detailed photographs that depict the methods she used to expertly execute the recipe instructions. With these pictures, Willan conveys her dedication to education— a longstanding passion that has profoundly affected my own life and cooking.

The recipes I share on my blog form a ‘Willan dinner’— I attempted to create a full French menu, from appetizer to dessert. With each dish, I tried including the formative lessons that Willan imparted in the Look and Cook series; although I did not include step-by-step photos, I have tried to include ingredients that are easy to access and write instructions that are straightforward but produce delicious food.

I have also been inspired by Willan in her ability to add her own personality into each recipe. I added my own personal favorite ingredients like rosewater in the dessert and fennel in the vegetable tart, and I encourage everyone cooking these dishes to do the same.

Ultimately, the Look and Cook books are delicious, easy and adaptable, perfect for a classic vintage cookbook feature!

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