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40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering
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40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
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 fort ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Clarkson Potter (first published January 1st 2011)
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From Fresh Air
18th out of 103 books — 68 voters
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58th out of 66 books — 158 voters

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Janine Kearns
Jun 02, 2013 Janine Kearns rated it it was amazing
I listened to this audiobook and it was amazing. If you like the style of reporting commonly used by NPR, you will love it too. Not only did Alice Waters narrate a good portion of the book, but scores of others chimed in with their perspective and recollections. Music was carefully chosen to accompany the various segments. And the icing on the cake, was that this is a topic near and dear to me ... local foods over agri-business production of food. Local farmers, butchers, foragers, wine makers a ...more
Joanna Hartell
Nov 10, 2014 Joanna Hartell rated it liked it
I listened to the book on Audible. Turned out to be an abridged edition, and no pictures, not even a PDF version to accompany. The pictures were referred to in the telling of the story, so I missed them. Other than that complaint, I enjoyed learning about the history of Chez Panisse, and the other projects of Alice Waters, especially Edible Schoolyard and Slow Food. I ate there in 1988 with Bob, who as a chef was so excited to go there. It was a Mecca then, and remains one today. The book is wri ...more
Mar 01, 2014 Bev rated it liked it
This was a book club selection and it seems a rather odd one, since it's more a browsing book than a reading book, but having lived in Berkeley when Alice Waters was first starting Chez Panisse and having been part of some of the campus goings-on at the time, I found it a nice trip down memory lane. In truth, it becomes too "in-group" for me after awhile. Too many chefs, too many foods I'd never heard of, too many things that were obviously written to include all of her friends, but of little in ...more
Jan 31, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Chez Panissers
Recommended to Brian by: muchmores
(4.5) Portrait of the Chez Panisse Family

Mary-Beth and I love returning to Chez Panisse at least once a year on our anniversary. We always marvel at the freshness, the beauty, the flavors of what we encounter. This book gives us some of the history (haven't read the restaurant's official biography yet), the behind-the-scenes at CP and the events that Alice ropes her colleagues into. Pretty fun stuff, you can tell they work hard but love what they do.

I was more interested in the restaurant and it
May 18, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
Interesting coffee table book. My mom LOVES this restaurant so everytime we are in San Francisco, somehow we always end up here, even though it's kind of a pain in the ass to get to from my sisters place in town. Worth it? Meh. I am not a foodie and in a city like SF were new great stuff is popping up all the time, I'd much rather try something new then continue to eat at the same place every time. One that is a pain in the ass to get to, to boot! But outside of my personal choices, this book wa ...more
Mar 09, 2016 Miranda rated it liked it
Jealous of Alice's life but inspired by her work. It also made me want to read like every cookbook Chez Panisse has ever put out.
Nov 08, 2011 Sherri rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. I loved the photos and the stories that accompanied them. If you have any interest in Alice Waters,20th century food history, or the slow food movement, you need to read this. I have a deeper appreciation for her, and a visit to Chez Panisse has moved to the top of my bucket list.
Anything about Chez Panisse is fascinating. I only hope that I will be able to have a great meal there someday soon.
Apr 18, 2013 Cherie rated it liked it
B Not what I was looking for, but still interesting. I thought this was 40 years of the best Chez Panisse recipes, but it was looking at the history of the restaurant, the movement and communities it created. Really interesting, but wish there were some yummy recipes too!
Apr 20, 2012 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who eats
I love this book. It makes me want to have a farm and a restaurant just like Chez Panisse. I'm adding it to my coffee table so that I can open it and get lost in the pictures.
Catherine Dover Stetson
Oct 27, 2011 Catherine Dover Stetson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
This is a wonderful book for all the foodies in the world. Great pictures and a history of cuisine in America for the last 40 years.
Phyllis Jennings
Apr 20, 2012 Phyllis Jennings rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book- it reminded me of what it was like to be young and open and full of fun!
Dec 30, 2012 Holly rated it really liked it
loved this history from my hero - the originator of the whole food movement
Apr 22, 2013 Leslie marked it as to-read
Look for audio version, reviewed in the "New Yorker."
Oct 14, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, 2011, cookbooks
Fascinating. I loved the different perspectives.
Jan 11, 2012 Mary marked it as to-read
Shelves: food
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Alice Waters, chef, author, and the proprietor of Chez Panisse, is an American pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally. She is a passionate advocate for a food economy that is “good, clean, and fair.” Over the course of nearly forty years, Chez Panisse has helped create a ...more
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