Special Feature

About Michele Anna Jordan,
Cookbook Author

Michele Anna Jordan

This bio was written in 1996. Photo by MJ Wickham

Michele Anna Jordan, a second-generation California native, has lived, cooked, and written in Sonoma County for over twenty years. A chef as well as a writer, Jordan's culinary and literary works have received numerous awards and wide acclaim. She covers food and wine for San Francisco Focus Magazine, a position she also held at The Sonoma County Independent, which for six years featured her lively restaurant reviews, winery profiles, her column "The Jaded Palate", and feature stories on a wide range of topics. Jordan is also host of "Mouthful with Michele Anna Jordan" on KRCB-FM, an NPR affiliate in Sonoma County.

With seven books currently in print, three new titles by Jordan are scheduled for publication in 1997: California Home Cooking from Harvard Common Press; Polenta from Broadway Books; and Chefs & Farmers (publisher pending). In addition, her essays appear in anthologies (Travelers' Tales, San Francisco from O'Reilly & Associates, for example) and numerous magazines, including Wine & Spirits, Kitchen Garden, Food & Wine, Appellation, and Juice, The Journal of Eatin', Drinkin', and Screwin' Around.


The Good Cook's Books (Addison-Welsey), Jordan's single-subject series of four books, is one of the most useful culinary series available today. The collection of four books offers a unique combination of thoroughly researched reference material, entertaining stories, useful charts and glossaries, and outstanding recipes. The first, The Good Cook's Book of Oil & Vinegar, was published in the fall of 1992; the second, The Good Cook's Book of Mustard, in May, 1994. When The Good Cook's Book of Tomatoes was released in the spring of 1995, Jim Wood of the San Francisco Examiner declared, "this is easily one of the best food books I've seen in a year—make that five years." The Good Cook's Book of Days: A Food Lover's Journal followed in September. Jordan's first book, A Cook's Tour of Sonoma (Addison-Wesley, 1990), was greeted with great praise and success. Pasta with Sauces and Lasagne, Ravioli, & Other Baked & Filled Pastas, part of Williams- Sonoma new pasta series, were released in the spring of 1996.

Jordan's small, specialty catering company, The Jaded Palate, received over 40 awards for its luscious, robust, and original creations featuring the foods of the region. In 1989, Jordan was voted "Outstanding Chef" in the Sonoma County Art Awards, and in 1990 received a merit scholarship to study with Madeleine Kamman at the internationally acclaimed Beringer Vineyards' School for American Chefs. In 1992 she received a Woman of Achievement Award for Culinary Arts, was appointed to the Commission on the Status of Women, and received an invitation to Yaddo, the prestigious artist's colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. In 1994, Michele Jordan was honored as the 1994 Distinguished Alumna of the School of Arts & Humanities at Sonoma State University.

In the spring of 1995, Jordan was instrumental in creating a formal sister region relationship between Sonoma County and Provence, France. As founder of the Sonoma-Provence Exchange, she is creating an organization that will encourage cultural, culinary, agricultural, and economic exchange between two regions that have a great deal in common. Jordan teaches culinary classes at private cooking schools around the state. In addition, she lectures on a variety of topics including olive oil, California olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and the farm-restaurant connection, and is a frequent guest on radio and television around the country. Michele Jordan has two daughters, Gina and Nicolle, and makes her home in both western Sonoma County and San Francisco.


by Michele Anna Jordan
Broadway Books
$19.95; 1997
ISBN 0-553-06732-X
Copyright © 1997 Michele Anna Jordan.



Making Soft Polenta
Polenta Recipes (by Michele Anna Jordan)
Additional Polenta Recipes

Check out Michele Anna Jordan's latest book: The World Is a Kitchen: Cooking Your Way Through Culture


This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007