Cooking novice or veteran, come learn French from this cookbook author

Georgeanne Brennan, chef and author of more than 30 cookbooks, at her home in Winters last month.
Georgeanne Brennan, chef and author of more than 30 cookbooks, at her home in Winters last month.

Are you one of those home cooks who love to page through new cookbooks, exploring recipes and adding to your culinary repertoire of skills? You may have amassed a collection of treasured cookbooks that sit on bookshelves or in boxes, each one with a memory attached.

Chef-author Georgeanne Brennan has about 1,000, including more than 30 with her own byline on them. They’ve won a long list of honors, including a James Beard Award and an International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Cookbook Award.

Brennan’s latest how-to guide, “La Vie Rustic: Cooking and Living in the French Style,” is The Sacramento Bee Book Club’s choice for May.

Like legendary chef Julia Child before her, Brennan has helped take the mystery out of French cuisine, making it approachable and easy for home cooks to whip up such Provençal specialties as green garlic and new potato soup, smoked trout pâté and mushroom-stuffed chicken.

Her expertise comes from decades of dividing her time between her farmhouse in Provence – where she once taught cooking classes – and her farmhouse in Winters, where a 400-year-old black walnut tree dominates the backyard. Each venue has added its own unique flavors to her cookbooks.

In the introduction to “La Vie Rustic,” she writes of her early years in rural Provence: “Little did I know it at the time, but my first years in France gave me the foundation for my life’s work and changed me forever. The relationship between land and table is more than just sustenance.”

At the Bee event, Brennan will be happy to answer your cooking questions and offer kitchen-ready tips and advice. Buy tickets at

Visit Brennan at

Information: 916-321-1128.

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

Sacramento Bee Book Club

Cookbook author and educator Georgeanne Brennan will appear for The Sacramento Bee Book Club at 6 p.m Thursday, May 18, in The Hive at The Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St., Sacramento. She will be in conversation with Bee senior writer Allen Pierleoni.

Tickets to the event are $20 for seven-day-a-week subscribers, $10 for students and $25 for general admission. Buy tickets online at Doors open at 5:15 p.m. Parking is free. Barnes & Noble will be on site, selling “La Vie Rustic: Cooking and Living in the French Style” for 30 percent off the list price (Weldon Owen, $35, 292 pages).

All proceeds benefit The Bee’s News In Education program, bringing news and information to more than 20,000 students in the region.

“La Vie Rustic” also will be offered for a 30 percent discount through May 18 at these bookstores: in the Sacramento area at the five Barnes & Nobles, Avid Reader at the Tower, Underground Books, Time Tested Books and Sac State’s Hornet Bookstore; in Davis at Avid Reader; in El Dorado Hills at Face in a Book; and in Grass Valley at The Bookseller.