The Country Cooking of France
The Country Cooking of France
The Country Cooking of France
The Country Cooking of France
The Country Cooking of France
The Country Cooking of France

The Country Cooking of France

Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, 2007


The Country Cooking of France is an authoritative compendium on French cuisine and its culture, as well as a stunning travelogue. Author Anne Willan is known for her highly regarded cooking school in France, La Varenne, which she founded with Julia Child and James Beard nearly three decades ago.

Chronicle Books’ design director Sara Schneider aspired to create a package that vividly evoked the country of France as those who live there know it, and as visitors would love to see it. Over three years in the making, this monumental 5.5-pound book resulted from a collaboration between Schneider and photographer France Ruffenach—a document of place, people and food: “We took three marathon trips to France during different seasons to capture the content of the manuscript. Ruffenach is great at getting people to open up and do what they do in front of her. It feels very intimate.”

As a result, the nearly 300 images earned a James Beard Award for best photography in 2008. Schneider also made sure every design detail was inspired by the country’s rich visual language. The book merges gorgeous traditional details with a contemporary sensibility—a sensory feast on any Francophile’s shelf.

Juror Notes

Over-the-top embellishment.

This book has fantastic chapter openers.

A great combination of typographic flourish and photographic wit.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2007
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book


Design firm
Chronicle Books
Art director
Sara Schneider
Sara Schneider
Jacket designer
Sara Schneider
France Ruffenach
Production coordinator
Tera Killip
Anne Willan
Bill LeBlond
Trim size
9.375 x 11 inches
Quantity printed
Bickham Script, Caslon, Clarendon, Cloister Open Face, Engravers, Garamond, Shady Lady
CS Graphics PTE
Gold East, art paper, 157 gsm, matte (text), Leykam Magnostar, 150 gsm, glossy (cover)
Smyth sewn
Chronicle Books