September 27, 2011

Chez Panisse Celebrating 40 Years

Sometimes I really feel like a poser on this blog.  Here I am telling you about all these wonderful things, but how many of these things do I really experience?  Much of the time I am just a curator of the joyous, beautiful, gracious aspects of modern life.  (I guess curator is a good thing too, I just want to live it all!)  Then something comes along that is really fantastic and that I want to share with you, but I feel like such a fake because it is something I've never really experienced.

Take Chez Panisse's 40th Anniversary Celebration documented by Todd Selby. As a Northern Californian, Alice Waters and her tiny but influential restaurant shaped the way my family and honestly the entire Bay Area ate before it inspired locally sourced restaurant food in the rest of the country and world.  But I've never had the pleasure of dining at Chez Panisse.  And, while I love her cookbook, Chez Panisse Vegetables, it is only a recent addition to my collection, and still hasn't become a regular member of my cookbook rotation.  Her influence has been more behind the scenes--shaping the culture I learned to eat in, but never directly influencing me.

So, yes, I feel like a poser celebrating her restaurant, of which I know so little, and her work, with the same repeated lines from newspaper columns and magazine articles.  But, goodness, aren't the pictures reason enough to celebrate?  Come now, let's have a feast!

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