A graduate of L'Ecole du Cordon Bleu and a former editor of Gourmet, Willan tends toward the haute, the elegant and the expensive. For occasions ranging from the impromptu picnic for two to an extravagant feast of curries for fifty(!), she plans her menus around such marvels as chestnut soup, ham mousse, and stuffed beef chasseur. The special virtue of Willan's book is the attention it pays to timing and preparation -- sometimes beginning a week before the arrival of the guests. If that doesn't deter yon, forget about the budget and the diet, and put this on the shelf beside Julia and Simca.