Even if you haven't yet ridden the Alice Waters/Chez Panisse media waves that have taken the world wide web by storm over the past month, you've probably heard that it's Chez Panisse's 40th birthday this year—next Sunday, August 29th, to be precise. This coming Wednesday—in an effort that's bound to draw crowds rivaling those at this weekend's SF Street Food Festival—Chez Panisse will continue its celebrations by serving lunch in Union Square. Obviously, it's not just any lunch. Click through to learn more about what's in store for the remainder of the most organic, locally-sourced birthday bash imaginable.
It’s been almost two-and-a-half years since Slow Food Nation set up shop in San Francisco. Filling the void is the Good Food Awards, “the first national awards platform to recognize American craft food.” In this DIY era, it’s no shock that there were over 780 submissions from 41 states in categories from coffee to preserves to chocolate. Of the finalists, there are surprisingly only 16 from around here (and out of these, only four are from SF).
There's no doubt that Chez Panisse founder and eat-your-vegetables poster girl Alice Waters has a lovely home kitchen filled with colorful, and indeed fiber-tastic, provisions from sweet little farms the world over. Vanity Fair recently scored a sneak peek inside the notoriously private restaurateur's personal canteen.
Alice Waters and local nonprofit Garden for the Environment have been hard at work at Levi's Workshop on Valencia Street. They've been designing up art for Edible Schoolyards, her Chez-Panisse Foundation-helmed project that aims to get kids dirty in the garden and foster a sustainable food mentality from an early age. The poster design will help to brand Edible Schoolyard projects around the country. Head out to Levi's Workshop this Friday to see the unveiling!
One night last fall at a wine dinner at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters got up to address the dining room and made a surprising confession. “Shame on me,” she said, “for paying so little attention to California wine. I had no idea what was going on underneath my nose all this time. And to think that it was through my daughter, Fannie, that I discovered something so important around me.”
Oh, Alice. It's as if she's suddenly been thrust front and center into the real world—the cruel world that lies past our cozy, often smug 7x7-plus square miles of sustainable bubbliciousness. First there was the 60 Minutes interview where she baked an egg in a wood-fired oven in her kitchen as an example of a quick and easy breakfast that just about anyone could whip up. Of late, there's been the Obama's garden, a victory perhaps for Alice, but not necessarily one's she's going to get credit for. As Maureen Dowd wrote in her pro-Waters op-ed column on Saturday,
Welcome to our partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his opinionated report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including all kinds of upcoming projects, hot downtown debuts, and Alice Waters' breakfast-making tips (just place a cracked egg in a hot, wood-fired oven and voila!).
Welcome to our exciting new partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his opinionated report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including chef gossip, a bit of PlumpJackin', hot openings, sad closings, and even some Top Chef updates.
1) As the calendar changes, the final tally of all the restaurant closures in the month of January topped 25, so to commemorate the fallen, it was time to take one last look back at those that passed away. Godspeed.