The Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne was created by Anne Willan in 1975 to initiate a wide and diverse audience to the beauties of cuisine. Although taking its name from one of the fathers of French cuisine Pierre de la Varenne, the Ecole was open to a wide diversity of influences.
As its programs were translated into many languages, amongst which English and Japanese, it was one of the pioneers of French cooking. Courses took place both in Paris and in the Château du Feÿ. Backed by famous figures, as Julia Child, who introduced French cooking to the United States, the Ecole de la Varenne, attracted considerable attention in the cooking milieu.
Anne Willan has published more then twenty books which explored a wide variety of tastes and flavors. Her cooking has nonetheless been very influenced by the Château du Feÿ. Her book From My Château Kitchen, as well as Château Cuisine show how the deeply the traditions of the Château shaped her approach of tastes.
Amongst other cooks of great renown, Amanda Hesser, author of the celebrated The Cook and the Gardener, spent several years training at the Château.
In 2007, Anne Willan went back to California and relocated the Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne to Santa Monica.