At This Milestone, I Wonder What Alice Would Choose …
Chez Panisse Kitchen (Photo: angrywayne/Creative Commons, via In Berkeley Blog)
To mark its 40th, there will be a host of celebratory and events during the weekend of August 26-28. Among them, anniversary dinners will be held at the homes of Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and others – with each dinner including a special friend of the restaurant such as Jake Gyllenhaal or Ruth Reichl. What’s that? Did I just say JAKE GYLLENHAAL? Why, yes, ladies, I sure did! So, how do you find out more? Ticket information may be found on the .
While those events will certainly celebrate the restaurant, they are also designed to help raise funds for The Edible Schoolyard Organization, something Alice helped create. As SF Gate’s Tracey Taylor nicely highlights “In Berkeley Blog“, the Chez Panisse Foundation will be renamed the Edible Schoolyard Organization this Fall, so that the program that originated in the shadow of the restaurant will now clearly be positioned as where Waters is devoting most of her energies.
The Edibible Schoolyard Garden.
As Alice says, “How we eat can change the world.” Deemed the Mother of Slow Food by Leslie Stahl on “60 Minutes“, Waters has been a pivotal pioneer of the cooking philosophy promoting fresh, local, organic and sustainable. Now she is pioneering the effort to share high quality, nutritious food with the nation’s schoolchildren. Her video, “The Chez Panisse 40th Anniversary Campaign” really says it best:
So, as I do with all culinary stars, I wondered what Alice Water’s DeathbedFood might be. Perhaps she’s given us a clue when she answered the following question in this month’s Bon Appetit‘s section: “If you could serve only one menu at the Chez Panisse 40th-anniversary dinners, what would it be?” … to which she suggested:
Alice Waters’ Chosen Menu (Courtesy: Bon Appetit, August 2011)
For those who are industrious enough to make them, Bon Appetit kindly provided four of her chosen recipes here: Rosemary Potatoes, Candied Rose Petals (to adorn cakes, cookies or desserts), Tapenade and Pissaladiere (onion and anchovy pizza or tart).
Still, I was still wondered, would those dishes really make her DeathbedFood list? As she shows us in this video, I believe her DBF would likely be Sharks Fin Soup made by Cecilia Chiang:
Interesting – especially, as Anthony Bourdain points out, that selection is probably not “local”. Nor is it sustainable, according to Jonathan Gold in the LA Times this week. Now I’m not judging as I believe that when it comes to DeathbedFood, the heart wants what it wants – even for Alice Waters!
Congratulations, Alice, on Chez Panisse’s 40th anniversary – and your amazing cause of providing the nation’s schoolchildren with nutritious food! I hope to visit your restaurant sometime soon and look forward to following you in the meantime (@AliceWaters, @edibleschoolyrd, Edible Schoolyard Facebook, and Edible Schoolyard website).