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Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook

Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook

5.0 2
by Alice L. Waters, Chez Panisse Cafe, Fritz Streiff, David Tanis, David Lance Goines (Illustrator)

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Casual, unpredictable, delectable—so run the recipes offered up in food visionary Alice Waters's latest confection. With chapters on everything from vegetables (Artichoke, Cardoon, and Endive Salad to fish and shellfish (King Salmon in Fig Leaves to sweets (Mulberry Sherbet, Waters's inspired tome comes generously accented with lively, useful notes on the farm-fresh fare she helped pioneer.
Melissa A. Trainer
Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook is Alice Water's seventh book and her best yet.
Wall Street Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Award-winning cookbook author (Chez Panisse Vegetables; Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook) and chef-owner Waters takes readers back to her highly lauded restaurant in Berkeley, Calif. This alluring 200-plus recipe collection is an innovative amalgam of Mediterranean, California, New American and Proven al dishes. Waters shares her Chez Panisse vision: that all of the restaurant's ingredients be certifiable as "organically grown" by the year 2000. A culinary purist, Waters devotes herself to cooking with fresh, seasonal, organic ingredients, relying upon a choice network of purveyors, producers, farmers, fishmongers and ranchers. The clear and incisive recipes range from simple (Fresh Mozzarella Salad) to elaborate (Headcheese, a jellied meat dish with one small pig's head and two pig's feet) and time-consuming (15-day Home-Cured Pancetta), with an emphasis on incorporating seasonal bounty--for example, Minestra Verdissima (spring); Venetian-style Pickled Sand Dabs (summer); Wild Nettle Frittata (autumn-winter); Spicy Baked Crab (winter). Despite Waters's militant stance on using organic ingredients and her exquisite attention to ingredient details, she suggests only two pantry essentials: kosher salt and quality olive oil. Aspiring to achieve a higher food karma, Waters successfully delivers a charmingly erudite yet accessible reference. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.02(d)

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Baked Goat Cheese with Garden Lettuces

Serves 4

1/2 pound fresh goat cheese (one 2 by 5-inch log)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 small sprig rosemary, chopped
1/2 sour baguette, preferably a day old
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, or a combination
1/2 pound garden lettuces, washed and dried

Carefully slice the goat cheese into 8 disks about 1/2 inch thick.Pour the olive oil over the disks and sprinkle with the chopped herbs.Cover and store in a cool place for several hours or up to a week.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise and dry out in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until dry and lightly colored.Grate into fine crumbs on a box grater or in a food processor.The crumbs can be made in advance and stored until needed.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (A toaster oven works well.) Remove the cheese disks from the marinade and roll them in the breadcrumbs, coating them thoroughly.Place the cheeses on a small baking sheet and bake for about 6 minutes, until the cheese is warm.

Measure the vinegars into a small bowl and add a big pinch of salt. Whisk in the oil and a little freshly ground pepper.Taste for seasoning and adjust.Toss the lettuces lightly with the vinaigrette and arrange on salad plates.With a metal spatula, carefully place 2 disks of the baked cheese on each plate and serve.

We have kept this dish on the menu every day since we opened.We vary the accompaniment sometimes, according to what's available, adding slices of ripe pear and watercress in the fall, forinstance, or rocket leaves and hazelnut oil.Delicious as a first course, it can also be served after a meal, as a combination salad-and-cheese course.Our goat cheese is made for us in Sonoma County.Investigate fresh local goat cheeses in your area, or use a French chèvre.

Roast Pork Loin with Rosemary and Fennel

Serves 4 to 6

Cooking over a bed of hardwood coals always adds flavor, especially to roasts.For those unable to roast over an open fire, here is a method that approximates the result.Overnight seasoning cures the meat lightly, and the fennel and herb branches perfume the meat as it roasts.Serve with roasted root vegetables.

2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed
4 branches rosemary
4 branches sage
Optional: extra-virgin olive oil

One day in advance, lard the pork loin with garlic, making incisions into the underside of the roast with a small sharp knife and inserting the garlic slices.Season the roast generously with salt and pepper.Crush the fennel seeds coarsely in a mortar and sprinkle over the meat.Press the rosemary and sage branches into the meat, and, using butcher's twine, tie up the roast, using a simple slipknot finished with a half hitch every 3 inches.Refrigerate.

The following day, bring the pork loin to room temperature.Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.Roast the pork loin on a rack, uncovered, until the internal temperature registers 130°F. on a meat thermometer, about 1 hour.Remove the roast from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.This allows the juices to Stabilize and the roast to continue cooking slowly without drying out.The meat will be moist, with the barest tinge of pink.Slice the pork and arrange on a warm platter with the herb branches.If you wish, drizzle with fruity Tuscan olive oil.

Meet the Author

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.

David Lance Goines is a Berkeley printer and designer whose friendship with Alice Waters goes back more than thirty years. His famous posters, including his annual Chez Panisse birthday posters, are in the permanent Collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre in Paris, the Achenbach Foundation at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

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