[La Varenne founder, cookbook goddess]
Willan opened the famed La Varenne cooking school in Paris in 1975 and has rubbed floury elbows with the likes of Julia Child. Today she organizes smaller-scale cooking classes in Santa Monica and writes and collects cookbooks. Her antiquarian cache features some 200 foodie tomes, one dating to the 15th century. Many of her favorites were excerpted in last year’s The Cookbook Library, and there are more where those came from.