Posts tagged 40 Years of Chez Panisse
Legend, Lunch & Lemon Dressing
Outside Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California

Outside Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California

Last August 2016, I finally found myself outside the hallowed Chez Panisse Restaurant and Cafe in Berkeley, California. Founded in 1971 by Alice Waters and a few other like-minded friends, the food principles that perpetuate this eating establishment have changed our food culture forever in this country.

Alice Waters, food activist and food icon, has taught has us the value and pleasure of eating locally, supporting our artisan farmers, eating seasonally, supporting food sustainability, and igniting the concept of school gardens for our children.

I meet Alice Waters at Chinos Farms, part of their Good Food, Great Chefs events for the celebration of her latest cookbook, The Art of Simple Food II. 

Meeting Alice Waters at Chinos Farm, Rancho Santa Fe, December 2013

Meeting Alice Waters at Chinos Farm, Rancho Santa Fe, December 2013

Over the years, Alice Waters has mentored many talented floral designers, talented chefs, and cookbook authors such as David Liebowitz and Joanne Weir who worked, trained, and enhanced their careers at Chez Panisse.

Alice Waters has influenced me. She has that gift to inspire and motivate others. When I read food books about Paris and Provence, occasionally I run across her name and presence. The week after I visited Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Alice Waters was actually cooking in Thomas Jefferson's kitchen for an event. She has inspired me to grow as much of my own food as possible, be sustainable, and eat seasonally.

Cafe Water Carafe Etched "Chez Panisse"

Cafe Water Carafe Etched "Chez Panisse"

Lunch was delightful and delicious, needless to say. The entire time I kept savoring details of lunch, the table, the clientele, and the setting. I share with you now Alice Water's Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing I had that special day over bright green billowy bibb lettuce .

Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing

Makes about 1/2 cup. This is a creamy dressing that coats lettuce in a luscious way. The flavor is light and sprightly filled with lemon juice and zest. Alice Waters especially likes it on sweet lettuces such as butterhead or romaine or a mix of small chicories and radicchio.

Stir together in a large bowl: 1 Tbsp. Meyer lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper.

Taste and adjust as needed. Whisk in: 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, and 3 Tbsp. heavy cream. Taste for salt and acid and adjust as needed.


Lunch in Provence Cooking Classes!

I Have a Place Setting for You and Friends!

I Have a Place Setting for You and Friends!

Many thanks for everyone's interest and enthusiasm in the "Lunch in Provence" Cooking Classes. Perfect to treat yourself, a special friend, or loved one for a birthday, milestone, or to just experience a relaxing day in South France.

There are still a few place settings available for the Thursday, October 6, 2016 "Autumn in Provence" cooking class and the Thursday, November 10, 2016 "Que Syrah, Syrah" cooking class, see FALL CLASS SCHEDULE DETAILS.


Alice Waters at Chino's Farm

We all came to get a glimpse of pioneer, visionary, advocate, and chef Alice Waters, and join in the celebration of her new book, 40 Years of Chez Panisse. It was held at the Chino Farm in Rancho Santa Fe on Sunday, December 11, 2011. Chino Farm is owned and still farmed by the Japanese immigrant Chino family since 1952. Nearly fifty acres in size, the family has an outstanding reputation for raising select seasonal fruit and vegetables, highly sought after by the general public and talented restaurant chefs alike.

Alice Waters has had a special and enduring relationship with the Chino family and farm over four decades, early on buying weekly seasonal produce for her acclaimed restaurant, Chez Panisse. It was fitting that she would be signing her new book at San Diego's most famous farm stand.

Just as our culture had Steve Jobs with his visionary genius in technology, we have had Alice Waters with her visionary genius of sustainable food, and the first to tell us that farm-to-table and eating locally is the best choice in our food. Her message has remained the same, you reap the most taste from your food, not necessarily by how it is cooked or prepared, but how it is grown and harvested in relation to its optimum environment.

40 Years of Chez Panisse is organized by decade and is a true retrospective of Alice's  famous restaurant, Chez Panisse. This is not a cookbook. Instead, it is a readable and fascinating personal tribute of the four decades that Alice Waters and Chez Panisse has served as a beacon of great food and sustainable farming practices, with the help of her many friends that have shared this journey with her. Thank you Alice Waters.

The Chino Farm is located at 6123 Calzada del Bosque, Del Mar, CA 92014. Call for hours, (tel) (858) 756-3184.

Please share if you have been to Chez Panisse. Please share how you have been influenced and inspired by Alice Waters.