Chez Panisse at 40, still fighting for change

Great article about Alice Waters and her long fight to make healthy, organic food part of everyday life, especially children!

Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse turning 40
Sophie Brickman, Chronicle Staff Writer

San Francisco Chronicle August 14, 2011 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle.
Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moments after floating into the Chez Panisse kitchen one recent Tuesday evening, Alice Waters stopped short at a chef’s station.

“Whatcha got?” she asked, zoning in on a green bean salad with the intensity of a hound who had just caught scent of her prey.

She popped a bean in her mouth and closed her eyes in pleasure while the waitstaff quickly laid out a table setting by the pastry station: a beaded glass of chilled rosé, a ceramic bowl of five perfect olives, and a fig-leaf-lined platter piled with farm-fresh produce lovingly spritzed with water.

Then, as she’s done countless evenings before in that kitchen, Waters sat down for a four-course meal.

On Aug. 28, 1971, Waters opened the doors of Chez Panisse in a Craftsman-style house on Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley, naming her restaurant after Honore Panisse, a character in a trilogy of Marcel Pagnol films. Then 27 years old with no restaurant experience, she aimed to re-create what she’d fallen in love with when she studied in France – a charming place where friends could gather over simple, fresh food.

“I wanted there to be an exciting, politically diverse group of people at the table, solving the problems of the world,” Waters recalled.

Click here to read the full article


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