Chuck Williams, Founder of Williams Sonoma passed away yesterday. He was a 100. What a life!! Chuck Williams was one of the most visionary inspirations in my life and business. There is not a day that goes by when I do not have direct contact with something bought at Williams Sonoma. When I was 23 and I had my first apartment I bought place settings from William Sonoma. They were these beautiful earthenware white plates with little cherries. I loved them so much and was so proud that I kept the table set 24/7!! For a little background on Chuck William's incredible legacy the first Williams Sonoma opened in 1956 after he traveled to Europe several years earlier and discovered what European cooks were using wasn't available in the US. He began European buying trips which included importing copper cookware from Mauviel, porcelain from Apilco and Pillivutyt and enameled cast-iron pots from Le Creuset. Chuck Williams in the early 70's imported Cuisinart and Wusthof cutlery. Williams Sonoma was also the first to carry All-Clad cookware and the KitchenAid stand mixer. The Williams Sonoma catalog was first sent in 1972 and still to this day is loaded with new and exciting products. I don't know of any catalog that can compare with Williams Sonoma's success in staying fresh and exciting. It's amazing to think he was also the first to import Fini Aceto Balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese too! When people talk about Steve Jobs as one of the most incredible visionaries, I'd put Chuck Williams in the same league of people who have made a huge impact with American lives.
Over the years I have bought countless Williams Sonoma cookbooks. Some cookbooks might look pretty and have we known celebrity chefs but the recipes don't always turn out as hoped. The William Sonoma cookbooks have amazing consistency as the recipes are delicious, easy to follow and rarely disappoint My collection of William Sonoma cookbooks look used, have many post-it book marks and recipes that have become my staples for my family and dinner parties. Below are some of my favorites as well on of my favorite cookies I love to bake during the holidays!