Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fresh, Local, Seasonal Ingredients...

We finally dined at Chez Panisse! Actually I’ve been to the cafe with friends but this was our first time at the price fixe restaurant. If Chez Panisse had a mantra it would likely be: "Fresh, Local, and Seasonal Ingredients!”

Chef Alice Waters opened the unpretentious Berkeley restaurant in 1971. While checking local farms for ingredients with the best taste, Waters came upon organically grown produce and has been one of the biggest champions for organic food ever since.

One cook at the restaurant claims there has always been a joke with the staff that Alice thinks she invented food. And Chez Panisse does always fall in the top 50 of the World’s Best Restaurants.

The Chez Panisse Foundation has worked with the Berkeley School District to educate young people about food. Part of that foundation is The Edible Schoolyard, an organic garden maintained and used by Berkeley middle school students. Alice Waters has a vision to teach subjects like history, science and art through food. Her passion about organic food influenced 1st lady, Michelle Obama, to plant an organic garden at The White House.

Our dinner was excellent and best of all, it tasted fresh and heathy! The cuisine reminds me of Mallory Lake, our favorite organic culinary friend!

“Alice Waters is a visionary, a pioneer, ‘the mother of American cooking’ and ‘the most important figure in the culinary history of North America’, she is certainly one of the most influential figures in American cooking of the last 50 years.” -from the S. Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants Association