Chuck Williams has been an incredible supporter and friend of mine over the years. After writing 13 cookbooks together for Williams-Sonoma, I have gotten to know him pretty well. We did a variety of cookbooks together and just to give you an idea of how versatile we were in those days, we wrote "Pork and Lamb" and our very next book was "Vegetarian!" I think "Complete Seasons," is still my personal favorite though.
In 1994, I got my first contract for a cookbook to do on my own. At that point, I got really busy and didn't have time to do cookbooks for Williams-Sonoma anymore. I remember when my first cookbook came out, "From Tapas to Meze" who came to my book launch at the Ritz Carlton? Chuck Williams!!
My most recent book "Tequila" was just launched and Williams-Sonoma bought the whole first print run. This doesn't happen often with a cookbook but it's an author's dream! They asked me to do a big event at the flagship store on Union Square in San Francisco to celebrate the book. Who do you think came and sat front row, center? YUP! CHUCK WILLIAMS! In his nineties now, , ninety-three to be exact, he's a legend in our time. He sat with his little pot of tea as I talked reposado tequila, Coco Loco Tequila Cupcakes and made Chorizo Hand Pies. He smiled the whole time.
At the end he pulled me aside before he drove himself home(!!!!) and said in his quiet, gentle and self-effacing voice, "You've got a great idea here, Joanne. I love your book!"