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About Alice Waters
Alice Waters is the visionary chef and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She is the author of four cookbooks, including Chez Panisse Vegetables and Fanny at Chez Panisse. In 1994 she founded the Edible schoolyard at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, a model curriculum that integrates organic gardening into academic classes and into the life of the school; it will soon incorporate a school lunch program in which students will prepare, serve, and share food they grow themselves, augmented by organic dairy products, grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish - all locally and sustainably produced.
Photo by usbotschaftberlin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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Titles By Alice Waters
For twenty-five years, Alice Waters and her friends at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California have dedicated themselves to the ideal of serving the finest, freshest foods with simplicity and style. From tender baby asparagus in early spring, to the colorful spectrum of peppers at the height of summer; crisp, leafy chicories in autumn, to sweet butternut squash in the dark of winter, much of the inspiration about what to put on the menu comes from the high quality produce Waters and her chefs seek out year-round.
Using the treasures from the earth, Chez Panisse Vegetables offers endless possibilities for any occasion. Try Grilled Radicchio Risotto with Balsamic Vinegar at your next dinner party, or Pizza with Red and Yellow Peppers for a summer evening at home. Why not forgo green-leaf lettuce, and opt for Artichoke and Grapefruit Salad drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil? Or serve Corn Cakes with fresh berries for breakfast instead of cereal?
Throughout Vegetables, Waters shares her energy and enthusiasm for what she describes as "living foods." When she first began in the restaurant business, the selection of good-quality vegetables was so limited that she found herself searching out farmers with whom she might do business. Luckily, today's explosion of markets and organic farms across the country ensures that any home cook can find freshly harvested produce to put on the table. And with the increased popularity of home gardening, more and more people are taking their vegetables straight from the earth and into the kitchen.
Cooks, gardeners, vegetarians and everyone who appreciates good food will find Chez Panisse Vegetables to be not only a cookbook, but a valuable resource for selecting and serving fine produce. From popular vegetables like corn, tomatoes and carrots, to more unusual selections like chard, amaranth greens and sorrel, Vegetables offers detailed information about the seasonal availability, proper look, flavor and preparation of each selection. Arranged alphabetically by vegetable, and filled with colorful linocut images, Chez Panisse Vegetables makes it easy for a cook to find a tempting recipe for whatever he or she has brought home from the market.
In We Are What We Eat, Alice Waters urges us to take up the mantle of slow food culture, the philosophy at the core of her life’s work. When Waters first opened Chez Panisse in 1971, she did so with the intention of feeding people good food during a time of political turmoil. Customers responded to the locally sourced organic ingredients, to the dishes made by hand, and to the welcoming hospitality that infused the small space—human qualities that were disappearing from a country increasingly seduced by takeout, frozen dinners, and prepackaged ingredients. Waters came to see that the phenomenon of fast food culture, which prioritized cheapness, availability, and speed, was not only ruining our health, but also dehumanizing the ways we live and relate to one another.
Over years of working with regional farmers, Waters and her partners learned how geography and seasonal fluctuations affect the ingredients on the menu, as well as about the dangers of pesticides, the plight of fieldworkers, and the social, economic, and environmental threats posed by industrial farming and food distribution. So many of the serious problems we face in the world today—from illness, to social unrest, to economic disparity, and environmental degradation—are all, at their core, connected to food. Fortunately, there is an antidote. Waters argues that by eating in a “slow food way,” each of us—like the community around her restaurant—can be empowered to prioritize and nurture a different kind of culture, one that champions values such as biodiversity, seasonality, stewardship, and pleasure in work.
This is a declaration of action against fast food values, and a working theory about what we can do to change the course. As Waters makes clear, every decision we make about what we put in our mouths affects not only our bodies but also the world at large—our families, our communities, and our environment. We have the power to choose what we eat, and we have the potential for individual and global transformation—simply by shifting our relationship to food. All it takes is a taste.
We hung the walls with old French movie posters advertising the films of Marcel Pagnol, films that had already provided us with both a name and an ideal: to create a community of friends, lovers, and relatives that span generations and is in tune with the seasons, the land, and human appetites.
So writes Alice Waters of the opening of Berkeley's Chez Panisse Café on April Fool's Day, 1980. Located above the more formal Chez Panisse Restaurant, the Café is a bustling neighborhood bistro where guests needn't reserve far in advance and can choose from the ever-changing à la carte menu. It's the place where Alice Waters's inventive chefs cook in a more impromptu and earthy vein, drawing on the healthful, low-tech traditions of the cuisines of such Mediterranean regions as Catalonia, Campania, and Provence, while improvising and experimenting with the best products of Chez Panisse's own regional network of small farms and producers.
In the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook, the follow-up to the award-winning Chez Panisse Vegetables, Alice Waters and her team of talented cooks offer more than 140 of the café's best-recipes--some that have been on the menu since the day café opened and others freshly reinvented with the honesty and ingenuity that have made Chez Panisse so famous. In addition to irresistible recipes, the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook is filled with chapter-opening essays on the relationships Alice has cultivated with the farmers, foragers and purveyors--most of them within an hour's drive of Berkeley--who make it possible for Chez Panisse to boast that nearly all food is locally grown, certifiably organic, and sustainably grown and harvested.
Alice encourages her chefs and cookbook readers alike to decide what to cook only after visiting the farmer's market or produce stand. Then we can all fully appreciate the advantages of eating according to season--fresh spring lamb in late March, ripe tomato salads in late summer, Comice pear crisps in autumn.
This book begins with a chapter of inspired vegetable recipes, from a vivid salad of avocados and beets to elegant Morel Mushroom Toasts to straightforward side dishes of Spicy Broccoli Raab and Garlicky Kale. The Chapter on eggs and cheese includes two of the café's most famous dishes, a garden lettuce salad with baked goat cheese and the Crostata di Perrella, the café's version of a calzone. Later chapters focus on fish and shellfish, beef, pork, lamb, and poultry, each offering its share of delightful dishes. You'll find recipes for curing your own pancetta, for simple grills and succulent braises, and for the definitive simple roast chicken--as well as sumptuous truffed chicken breasts. Finally the pastry cooks of Chez Panisse serve forth a chapter of uncomplicated sweets, including Apricot Bread Pudding, Chocolate Almond Cookies, and Wood Oven-baked Figs with Raspberries.
Gorgeously designed and illustrated throughout with colored block prints by David Lance Goines, who has eaten at the café since the day it opened, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook is destined to become an indispensable classic. Fans of Alice Waters's restaurant and café will be thrilled to discover the recipes that keep them coming back for more. Loyal readers of her earlier cookbooks will delight in this latest collection of time-tested, deceptively simple recipes. And anyone who loves pure, vibrant, delicious fare made from the finest ingredients will be honored to add these new recipes to his or her repertoire.
In her most intimate and compelling cookbook yet, Alice invites readers to step not into the kitchen at Chez Panisse, but into her own, sharing how she shops, stores, and prepares the pantry staples and preserves that form the core of her daily meals. Ranging from essentials like homemade chicken stock, red wine vinegar, and tomato sauce to the unique artisanal provisions that embody Alice’s unadorned yet delightful cooking style, she shows how she injects even simple meals with nuanced flavor and seasonal touches year-round. From fresh cheeses to quick pickles to sweets and spirits, these often-used ingredients are, as she explains, the key to kitchen spontaneity when combined with simple grains, vegetables, and other staple items. With charming pen-and-ink illustrations by her daughter, Fanny and Alice’s warm, inviting tone, the latest book from our most influential proponent of simple, organic cooking ensures a gracious, healthy meal is always within reach.
In 2001 Chez Panisse was named the number one restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine -- quite a journey from 1971 when Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse as a place where she and her friends could cook country French food with local ingredients and talk politics.
As the restaurant's popularity grew, so did Alice's commitment to organic, locally grown foods and to a community of farmers and producers who provide the freshest ingredients, grown and harvested naturally with techniques that preserve and enrich the land for future generations. After thirty years, the innovative spirit and pure, intense flavors of Chez Panisse continue to delight and surprise all who visit, and even those who cant get there know that Alice started a quiet revolution, changing the culinary landscape forever. Inspired by Chez Panisse, more and more people across the country are discovering the sublime pleasures of local, organic vegetables and fruits.
Now join Alice Waters and the cooks at Chez Panisse in celebration of fruit. Chez Panisse Fruit draws on the exuberant flavors of fresh, ripe fruit to create memorable dishes. In this companion volume to Chez Panisse Vegetables, discover more than 200 recipes for both sweet and savory dishes featuring fruit. Glorify the late-summer peach harvest with Peach and Raspberry Gratin, and extend the season with Grilled Cured Duck Breast with Pickled Peaches. Enjoy the first plums in Pork Loin Stuffed with Wild Plums and Rosemary. Preserve the fresh flavors of winter citrus with Kumquat Marmalade or Candied Grapefruit Peel. Organized alphabetically by fruit -- from apples to strawberries -- and including helpful essays on selecting, storing, and preparing fruit, this book will help you make the very most of fresh fruits from season to season. Illustrated with beautiful color relief prints by Patricia Curtan, Chez Panisse Fruit is a book to savor and to treasure.
When Alice Waters opened the doors of her "little French restaurant" in Berkeley, California in 1971 at the age of 27, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape—Alice least of all. Fueled in equal parts by naiveté and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers. In Coming to My Senses Alice retraces the events that led her to 1517 Shattuck Avenue and the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity. Moving from a repressive suburban upbringing to Berkeley in 1964 at the height of the Free Speech Movement and campus unrest, she was drawn into a bohemian circle of charismatic figures whose views on design, politics, film, and food would ultimately inform the unique culture on which Chez Panisse was founded. Dotted with stories, recipes, photographs, and letters, Coming to My Senses is at once deeply personal and modestly understated, a quietly revealing look at one woman's evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.
Perhaps more responsible than anyone for the revolution in the way we eat, cook, and think about food, Alice Waters has “single-handedly chang[ed] the American palate” according to the New York Times. Her simple but inventive dishes focus on a passion for flavor and a reverence for locally produced, seasonal foods.
With an essential repertoire of timeless, approachable recipes chosen to enhance and showcase great ingredients, The Art of Simple Food is an indispensable resource for home cooks. Here you will find Alice’s philosophy on everything from stocking your kitchen, to mastering fundamentals and preparing delicious, seasonal inspired meals all year long. Always true to her philosophy that a perfect meal is one that’s balanced in texture, color, and flavor, Waters helps us embrace the seasons’ bounty and make the best choices when selecting ingredients. Fill your market basket with pristine produce, healthful grains, and responsibly raised meat, poultry, and seafood, then embark on a voyage of culinary rediscovery that reminds us that the most gratifying dish is often the least complex.
In this extraordinarily intimate portrait of her mother--and herself--Fanny Singer, daughter of food icon and activist Alice Waters, chronicles a unique world of food, wine, and travel; a world filled with colorful characters, mouth-watering traditions, and sumptuous feasts. Across dozens of vignettes with accompanying recipes, she shares the story of her own culinary coming of age and reveals a side of her legendary mother that has never been seen before. A charming, smart translation of Alice Waters's ideals and attitudes about food for a new generation, Always Home is a loving, often funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely written look at a life defined in so many ways by food, as well as the bond between mother and daughter.
Justly famed for the originality of its ever-changing menu and the range and virtuosity of its chef and owner, Alice Waters, Chez Panisse is known throughout the world as one of America's greatest restaurants. Dinner there is always an adventure—a different five-course meal is offered every night, and the restaurant has seldom repeated a meal since its opening in 1971. Alice Waters is a brilliant pioneer of a wholly original cuisine, at once elegant and earthy, classical and experimental, joyous in its celebration of the very finest and freshest ingredients.
In this spectacular book, Alice Waters collects 120 of Chez Panisse's best menus, its most inspired transformations of classic French dishes. The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook is filled with dishes redolent of the savory bouquet of teh garden, the appealing aromas and roasty flavors of food cooked over the charcoal grill, and the delicate sweetness of fish fresh from the sea. There are menus here for different seasons of the year, for picnics and outdoor barbecues and other great occasions. Handsomely designed and illustrated by David Lance Goines, this is an indispensable addition to the shelf of every great cook and cookbook readers.
“A lovely book, wonderfully inventive, and the food is very pure.”—Richard Olney
A beautiful vegetable-focused book, The Art of Simple Food II showcases flavor as inspiration and embodies Alice’s vision for eating what grows in the earth all year long. She shares her understanding of the whole plant, demystifying the process of growing and cooking your own food, and reveals the vital links between taste, cooking, gardening, and taking care of the land. Along the way, she inspires you to feed yourself deliciously through the seasons. From Rocket Salad with Babcock Peaches and Basil to Moroccan Asparagus and Spring Vegetable Ragout to Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Alice shares recipes that celebrate the ingredients she loves: tender leaf lettuces, fresh green beans, stone fruits in the height of summer, and so much more. Advice for growing your own fruits and vegetables abounds in the book—whether you are planting a garden in your backyard or on your front porch or fire escape. It is gleaned from her close relationships with local, sustainable farmers.
Alice Waters, whom Craig Claiborne has called “that great American rarity, a deservely celebrated native-born chef,” gives us here the extraordinary pastas, pizzas, and calzones that she serves in her famous Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkley, California. Based on the freshest and best seasonal ingredients, every recipe is bursting with flavor and unexpected combinations. Inspired as much by Providence as by Italy, these recipes reveal Chez Panisse's strong Mediterranean affinities, not only in the choice of ingredients, but also in the combinations that make them so tantalizing. Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza & Calzone will send cooks from the garden to the kitchen, rejoicing in the bounty of nature and in miraculous transformations of fresh, beautiful ingredients into tantalizing meals.
Praise for Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza & Calzone
“After reading Alice Water's new book, I'm ready to proclaim her a culinary oracle. She dazzles me—the things she does with garden-fresh ingredients, the unexpected and wonderful results she obtains. This is a glorious book by a great chef.”—Paula Wolfert
“These recipes are fun to read, a good combination of the tried and true and the extrasensory perception that is almost a trademark of Alice's cooking. I especially like havuing the four seasonal sections in which the accent is on what is fresh then. The fruits and herbs and everything else that goes on the table are of that one special time in the year.”—M.F.K. Fisher
“Pizza? What an odd, ordinary thing for one of America's most respected establishments to put on the menu. When the pizza came and I tasted it, I saw what Alice Waters was about: the ordinary made extraordinary by the use of fine unusual ingredients—in this case girolles in a general creaminess, spiked with a little Parmesan and onion—put together by a skillful and unusual taste.”—Jane Grigson
Contributors: Darina Allen * Dan Barber * Lidia Bastianich * Rick Bayless * Paul Bertolli * David Chang * Traci Des Jardins * Angelo Garro * Joyce Goldstein * Thomas Keller * Niloufer Ichaporia King * Peggy Knickerbocker * Anna Lappé & Bryant Terry * Deborah Madison * Clodagh McKenna * Jean-Pierre Moullé * Joan Nathan * Scott Peacock * Cal Peternell * Gilbert Pilgram * Clair Ptak * Oliver Rowe * Amaryll Schwertner * Fanny Singer * David Tanis * Poppy Tooker * Charlie Trotter * Jerôme Waag * Beth Wells