Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolutionby Thomas McNamee
This adventurous book charts the origins of the local "market cooking" culture that we all savor today. When Francophile Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971, few Americans were familiar with goat cheese, cappuccino, or mesclun. But it wasn't/b>/i>
The first authorized biography of "the mother of American cooking" (The New York Times)
This adventurous book charts the origins of the local "market cooking" culture that we all savor today. When Francophile Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971, few Americans were familiar with goat cheese, cappuccino, or mesclun. But it wasn't long before Waters and her motley coterie of dreamers inspired a new culinary standard incorporating ethics, politics, and the conviction that the best-grown food is also the tastiest. Based on unprecedented access to Waters and her inner circle, this is a truly delicious rags-to-riches saga.
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Talk about dish: McNamee's book is a gossipy history of the famed restaurant and a biography of the individual behind its three-decade rise from humble beginnings to international renown. Alice Waters was a young, single American woman with strong, confident sense and vision but little experience in the restaurant business when she moved to Berkeley in the 1960s. She loved food and cooking, and dreamed of opening a restaurant; her passion and enthusiasm eventually produced a location, a crew and a clientele. The book chronicles the following decades with extensive detail from a behind-the-scenes viewpoint, going from stovetop to bedroom, from opening night right up through the restaurant's recent 35th anniversary. Larger-than-life personalities abound, but the primary focus is Waters, whose success occasionally comes across as attributable to accidents and other people as often as design. The author researched restaurant archives and interviewed dozens of willing subjects with Waters's approval, and the result is a mélange of reverential biography with restaurant and food history. Sidebars scattered throughout the text provide additional anecdotes and insight into Waters's favorite dishes. Serious foodies will devour this memoir. B&w photos. (Mar.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 2 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are Saying About This
-Los Angeles Times
"McNamee, an erudite journalist, essayist, poet, and literary critic, paints a particularly vivid picture of this enfant terrible of the kitchen."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"A wonderfully entertaining, gossipy glimpse inside a kitchen that continues to surprise and delight."
-The Seattle Times
"A rounded and convincing portrait of a controversial figure in American cooking."
"Careering, chaotic, and ultimately inspiring . . . McNamee's clear-eyed assessment avoids the usual platitudes about California cuisine and shows how one individual with an understanding of food can carve out a personal identity and at the same time make culinary history."
-The New York Times Book Review
Meet the Author
Thomas McNamee's work has appeared in Audubon, The New Yorker, Life, Natural History, High Country News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Saveur, and a number of literary journals.
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while I have ot admit the book has inspired me to make a trip to Berkely to sample the fare at Chez Panisse and absorb some of the history and regeneration attributed to this birthplace of mordern american cuisine, I founf the writing, after the fist several chapters, to be repetive, dry and lacking color and emotion. The research was done thoroughly but needed more inventive writing to bring the work to life.