Joanne Weir is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, international cooking teacher and renowned chef. Joanne’s passion for cooking was stoked by a legacy of life in the kitchen. A fourth-generation professional chef, Joanne’s great-grandmother operated a restaurant in Boston at the turn of the century called Pilgrim’s Pantry. This enthusiasm for food was passed down to her grandfather and then to her mother, a professional chef and caterer who worked with the legendary cookbook author, Charlotte Turgeon. Joanne continues that same tradition. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Joanne went on to teach Fine Arts in Boston. She then found her way back to the kitchen.
Joanne spent five years cooking with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California and studied with Madeleine Kamman in France, where she was awarded a Master Chef Diploma with honors. Her ultimate calling is teaching others to cook in the United States and throughout the world — Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, UK, South America, Mexico and Canada. In 2013, Joanne won the Tour Operator of the Year Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for her highly acclaimed Culinary Journeys. She spends several months of the year touring the globe sharing her extensive cooking background with regard to nutrition, food theory and technique, in particular Mediterranean cuisine and the regional foods of the U.S.
Joanne has a twenty-year history as a host for her cooking shows, which air nationally on Public Television and CreateTV. In her award-winning television series, “Joanne Weir’s Cooking Class” and “Joanne Weir Gets Fresh,” Joanne’s love of teaching students how to cook is shared with a national TV audience. Her current television series, “Joanne Weir’s Plates and Places” won Best New Series from Taste Awards in 2019. Twenty-six new episodes feature segments filmed throughout the Mediterranean, the Rhine and Danube Rivers, Washington and California, as well as in her kitchen studio in San Francisco.
In 2012, Weir opened Copita, a modern Mexican restaurant & tequileria in Sausalito, California partnering with restaurateur extraordinaire, Larry Mindel. In 2014, Copita was named Best Mexican Restaurant in the Bay Area by 7×7 Magazine and was also featured on the cover of San Francisco Magazine as one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Francisco.
Awarded the very first IACP Julia Child Cooking Teacher Award of Excellence, Joanne shares a lifetime of experience that flavors everything she touches. Her first book, From Tapas to Meze (Crown, 1994,) was nominated for a James Beard Award and selected by Julia Child as one of her 12 personal favorites out of 1,000 cookbooks published that year. A revised version of From Tapas to Meze (Ten Speed Press, 2004) was re-released and won the 2004 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Mediterranean Cookbook. She has published numerous cookbooks since that time, including James Beard-nominated You Say Tomato (Broadway Books 1998).
Joanne’s talents were brought to life in the PBS series “Weir Cooking in the Wine Country,” shot on location in Napa Valley. Her companion book, Weir’s More Cooking in the Wine Country (Simon & Schuster, 2001) garnered a James Beard Award nomination and an IACP Cookbook Award nomination. Joanne’s adopted hometown, San Francisco, is the culinary setting for “Weir Cooking in the City,” her 26-part PBS series and companion book (Simon & Schuster, 2004) for which she received a James Beard Award. She is also the author of Wine Country Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008), Tequila: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails and Bites (Ten Speed Press, 2009), and Cooking Confidence (Taunton, 2012). Her most recent is a food memoir, Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food (Oxmoor House, 2015) and features a foreword by Alice Waters.