journalist, author, cooking instructor
When I was growing up in America’s Middle West, surrounded by an abundance of home-grown vegetables and fruits, I knew two things: I wanted always to be able to enjoy the bounty of fresh food that I had known as a child; and I wanted to be a journalist. I had a deep desire to research, interview, dig deep into a subject, then write about it and share that enthusiasm and knowledge with my readers. So, as an adult, combining my passion for food and for journalism, seemed a natural path. A job at The Washington Post and then The New York Times, ultimately led me to travel to Paris to work as restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune and the French weekly L’Express, publishing some 15 books and an application for the iPhone and iPad along the way.
My husband, Walter and I moved from New York City to Paris in 1980, for what we thought would be two years. The lure and love of the cuisine and lifestyle here has kept us blissfully in here to this day. In 1984, we bought our farmhouse, Chanteduc, in Provence, allowing us to fuel our passions for the countryside and the region’s rich traditions. Soon, we realized that here was the opportunity to share the wonderment of life in France not just on paper, but in person, so in 1996 we began our cooking school, At Home with Patricia Wells, in Provence, extending the program to our Paris cooking atelier in the 6th arrondissement two years later.
Today, along with updating The New Food Lover’s Guide to Paris app with my latest restaurant and other food and lifestyle discoveries in Paris, and chronicling my food adventures on my blog, my focus is on my cooking school in Paris and Provence. In my classes I share all that I have gleaned, and continue to learn, concerning food, growing herbs, fruits, and vegetables, local food markets, cooking, lifestyle, and entertaining. In short, I share with my students my personal vision of a positive, healthy, happy way to embrace life to the fullest. I always say that people who love food are happy people, for I firmly believe that good food, shared with loved ones, fulfills the soul in a way that nothing else can.
Over the years, my focus on food and my style of cooking have changed as I become more focused on my own organic garden. I grow as much as I can, to experience both the joys and heartaches of nurturing the soil, from the pleasures of a perfect heirloom tomato fresh from the vine, to the reality of “sharing” an entire crop of cherries with the local bird population. As Walter and I grow the grapes for our wine, and olives for oil and for curing, as we marvel at the bees that give us our honey, we learn respect not only for what we grow ourselves, but also for all the men and women out there who help supply our daily fare.
In both Paris and Provence, the class also brings me closer to each independent merchant we deal with, from the butcher to the baker, the fish merchant and the cheese ager,, every person from whom we buy a fruit or a vegetable, not to mention the incredible group of chefs with whom we share that food passion.
In my kitchens, I can happily busy myself from early in the morning until dinner time, creating new dishes, testing and retesting recipes, capturing the essence of each ingredient, making each taste as much of itself as it possibly can. Learning more about wine is also an integral part of my love of gastronomy, and I feel blessed that, like food, wine is a subject about which one can learn every day, enjoying the pleasures of the taste of a new-season fig, or the joys of newly discovering a wine from each region of France.
For me the joy of food has always been in sharing and I love to hear from my readers and former students, so please don't hesitate to drop me a line with your thoughts and ideas.
Wishing you many wonderful adventures in the kitchen!
More about Patricia....
Patricia Wells is a journalist, author, and cooking school teacher who has lived in France since 1980. A former reporter for The New York Times, she was global restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune for more than 25 years. Shehas written fifteen books, is a four-time James Beard Award winner, and has been honored by the French government for her contribution to French culture. She runs her cooking school, At Home with Patricia Wells, in both Paris and Provence, where she lives with her husband, Walter, retired executive editor of the International Herald Tribune.
November 5, 1946 Milwaukee, Wisconsin U.S.A.
1995 to Present: Owner and teacher, At Home with Patricia Wells, cooking classes in Paris and Provence
1980-2007: Global Restaurant Critic, THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
1988 to 1991: Restaurant Critic, L’EXPRESS Paris newsweekly
1976 to 1980: Food writer and editor, THE NEW YORK TIMES
1972 to 1976: copy editor and writer, THE WASHINGTON POST
THE FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE TO PARIS, Workman, published 1984, updated in 1988, 1993, 1999, completely revised and updated 2014
THE FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE TO PARIS, iOS application (for iPhone and iPad), April 2013
THE FRENCH KITCHEN COOKBOOK, William Morrow, October 2013
SALAD AS A MEAL, William Morrow, April 2012
SIMPLY TRUFFLES: William Morrow, October 2011
WE’VE ALWAYS HAD PARIS … AND PROVENCE, HarperCollins, 2008
(With Walter Wells)
VEGETABLE HARVEST, William Morrow, 2007
THE PROVENCE COOKBOOK, HarperCollins 2004
THE PARIS COOKBOOK, HarperCollins 2001
PATRICIA WELLS AT HOME IN PROVENCEScribner 1996, 1999
L’ATELIER OF JOEL ROBUCHON, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1998
PATRICIA WELLS’ TRATTORIA, William Morrow 1993, 1995, 2001
SIMPLY FRENCH William Morrow 1991, 1995
BISTRO COOKING, Workman, 1989
THE FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE TO FRANCE, Workman, 1987
2013Honorary doctorate, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
2006Honorary doctorate, Gastronomic Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2005James Beard Best European Cookbook: The Provence Cookbook
2004 French Food Spirit Award from the French Government
2002 Nomination, James Beard Best European Cookbook: The Paris Cookbook
2001 Best French Cookbook in English/Paris Cookbook/Gourmand World
1999 Versailles World Cookbook Award: For Best Promotion of French Cuisine
1997 James Beard Best European Cookbook: Patricia Wells at Home in Provence
1992 James Beard Best European Cookbook: Simply French
1992 James Beard Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America
Who’s Who in the World, 10th, 11th, 12th editions
1989 IACP Award, Best European Cookbook, Bistro Cooking
1989 Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, contribution to French culture
MERVEILLEUX LEGUMES, Lattes (French) 2007
PATRICIA WELLS TRATTORIA, Editorial Zendrera Zariquiey (Spanish) 2001
LES PROMENADES D’UNE GOURMANDE, Lattes (French) 2001
THE PARIS COOKBOOK Kyle Cathie (UK) 2001
MA CUISINE EN PROVENCE Lattes (French) 1997, 1998
PATRICIA WELLS AT HOME IN PROVENCE Kyle Cathie (UK) 1997, 1998
L’ATELIER DE JOËL ROBUCHON, Hachette (French) 1996
TRATTORIA, Muller Ruschlikon Verlag (German) 1995
TRATTORIA Ediouro (Portuguese) 1995
SIMPLY FRENCH Shibata (Japanese) 1995
PATRICIA WELLS TRATTORIA Lattes (French) 1995, 1999, 2006
DIE BISTRO KUCHE Heyne (German) 1994
COZINHA DE BISTROEdiouro (Portuguese) 1994
PATRICIA WELLS TRATTORIA Bosch & Keuning ( Dutch) 1992
TRATTORIA Kyle Cathie (UK) 1993, 1995, 1999
BISTRO COOKING Arrow (UK) 1992
HETLEKKERSTE BISTRO KOOKBOEL Bosch & Keuning (Dutch) 1992
LE MEILLEUR & LE PLUS SIMPLE DE ROBUCHON Laffont (French) 1992, 1999
BISTRO MAT FRAN FRANSKA KVARTERSKROGAR Bonniers (Swedish) 1991
200 MEILLEURES RECETTES DE BISTROT Lattes (French) 1991, 1993
BISTRO COOKING Kyle Cathie (UK) 1990, 1993, 1999
PARIS GOURMANDFlammarion (French) 1989
FINJNOROEVERSGIDS VOOR PARIJS Bosch & Keuning (Dutch) 1988
REISBOEK FRANKRIJK VOOR FIJNPROEVERS Bosch & Keuning (Dutch) 1988
LA FRANCE GOURMANDE Flammarion (French) 1988
THE FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE TO PARIS Methuen (UK) 1985, 1989, 1993
PARIS FUR FEINSCHMECHERDuMont (German) 1985
PARIJS VOOR SMULLERS (Gottmer) Dutch 1985
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Bachelor of Arts: journalism, 1968
The University of Wisconsin-Madison: Master of Arts: journalism, 1972