Chez Panisse opened its doors in 1971. Founded by Alice Waters, the restaurant is rooted in her conviction that the best-tasting food is organic, locally grown, and harvested in ecologically sound ways by people who are taking care of the land for future generations. The quest for such ingredients has always determined the restaurant’s cuisine, and, over the course of forty years, Chez Panisse has helped create a community of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures the restaurant a steady supply of fresh and pure ingredients.
In Forty Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, Alice takes readers on her journey from the humble and visionary beginnings of the restaurant, through its rise and the acclaim, to the Café and the influential Chez Panisse Foundation. Organized by decade, the book includes a wealth of archival material and photographs—menus; invitations; pictures of Alice at the restaurant and around the world, with those who have passed through her life—and interviews from public figures and cooks who have been inspired by or mentored at the restaurant.
This tribute to the delicious food revolution that began with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse is an important work for anyone who cares about food, sustainability, and the powerful legacy that Alice has built.
About Alice Waters
Alice Waters was born on April, 28, 1944, in Chatham, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 with a degree in French cultural studies before training at the International Montessori School in London. Her daughter, Fanny, was born in 1983.
Chez Panisse Restaurant opened in 1971, serving a single fixed-price menu that changed daily. The set menu format remains at the heart of Alice’s’ philosophy of serving the most delicious organic products only when they are in season. Over the course of three decades, Chez Panisse has developed a network of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures Chez Panisse a steady supply of pure and fresh ingredients.
In 1996, in celebration of the restaurant’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Alice created the Chez Panisse Foundation. The Edible Schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr Middle School is the foundation’s primary beneficiary. More information is available on the foundation's website, www.chezpanissefoundation.org
About Calvin Trillin
Calvin Trillin, who became The Nation’s “deadline poet” in 1990, has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1963. He is the author of Deciding the Next Decider, A Heckuva Job, Obliviously on He Sails, and About Alice. He has also written verse on the events of the day for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and National Public Radio. He says he believes in an inclusive political system that prohibits from public office only those whose names have awkward meter or are difficult to rhyme. He lives in New York.
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About Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine as well as a contributing editor at Harper’s magazine. He is the author of two prizewinning books: Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education and A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder. Pollan lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.