Meet the Mentor
So how did Steven get into food writing? In 1975, he won a Watson Foundation Fellowship to study, of all things, medieval cooking in Europe. His first stop (after the rare book and manuscript room at the Bibliotheque Nationale) was the La Varenne Cooking School in Paris. Here are Steven and his wife, Barbara, with La Varenne founder, Anne Willan, in front of Anne’s chateau in Burgundy. Anne is the author of dozens of terrific books, from Great Cooks and their Recipes (a history of cooking through it’s greatest practitioners) to Regional French Cooking and the La Varenne Pratique. Some of you may notice a classical French culinary influence in Steven’s writings–even about barbecue. This is where he got it. Anne was Steven’s mentor and La Varenne is where a whole generation of food writers learned to write cookbooks.