The long-awaited memoir from cultural icon and culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of what is arguably America's most influential restaurant.
When Alice Waters opened the doors of her "little French restaurant" in Berkeley, California in 1971 at the age of 27, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape--Alice least of all. Fueled in equal parts by naiveté and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers. In Coming to My Senses Alice retraces the events that led her to 1517 Shattuck Avenue and the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity. Moving from a repressive suburban upbringing to Berkeley in 1964 at the height of the Free Speech Movement and campus unrest, she was drawn into a bohemian circle of charismatic figures whose views on design, politics, film, and food would ultimately inform the unique culture on which Chez Panisse was founded. Dotted with stories, recipes, photographs, and letters, Coming to My Senses is at once deeply personal and modestly understated, a quietly revealing look at one woman's evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.
In this sweet, petite collection of essays and recipes, Alice Waters showcases the simple building-block ingredients she uses to create gratifying, impromptu meals all year long.
In her most intimate and compelling cookbook yet, Alice invites readers to step not into the kitchen at Chez Panisse, but into her own, sharing how she shops, stores, and prepares the pantry staples and preserves that form the core of her daily meals. Ranging from essentials like homemade chicken stock, red wine vinegar, and tomato sauce to the unique artisanal provisions that embody Alice’s unadorned yet delightful cooking style, she shows how she injects even simple meals with nuanced flavor and seasonal touches year-round. From fresh cheeses to quick pickles to sweets and spirits, these often-used ingredients are, as she explains, the key to kitchen spontaneity when combined with simple grains, vegetables, and other staple items. With charming pen-and-ink illustrations by her daughter, Fanny and Alice’s warm, inviting tone, the latest book from our most influential proponent of simple, organic cooking ensures a gracious, healthy meal is always within reach.