Bon Appetit honors local author

By Sky Barsch
Observer correspondent

Molly Stevens of Williston joined the ranks of author Barbara Kingsolver and cook Julia Childs recently when she received a Bon Appetit annual award.

Stevens, a traveling instructor, food writer and cookbook author, won Bon Appetit’s Cooking Teacher award for 2007. She received the award last month at the restaurant Del Posto in New York, and was featured in the October edition of the fine cooking magazine.

The award came as a surprise, Stevens said, adding she is unsure how she became nominated.

“It was a great honor,” Stevens said. “I was pretty blown away.”

Classically trained as a chef in France, Stevens eventually landed in Vermont for a teaching job at the New England Culinary Institute. Now she travels the country, teaching cooking classes in Ohio, Texas and Mexico.

Stevens was applauded on the Bon Appetit Web site for having a “knack for simplicity.” Said Bon Appetit, “Her simple, flavorful recipes guarantee success.”

Stevens said she specializes in teaching technique more than anything else.

“It’s all about understanding the whys and the hows behind a recipe,” she said.

Her students range from young people who don’t know how to cook to people who love food, read a lot of food literature and want to learn more.

Her book, “All About Braising,” won the 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for best single subject cookbook and the 2005 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award for best single subject cookbook. She has worked on numerous other cookbooks as well.

In addition, she writes for Fine Cooking, Saveur, Bon Appetit and Everyday with Rachel Ray.

Stevens lives with her husband Mark Smith and their black Labrador. Her Web site can be found at The Bon Appetit awards can be found from a link on her home page.