In 2010 Alice Waters asked me to write the text for a book celebrating the 40th anniversary of Chez Panisse, which came out the next year as 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering / Alice Waters and Friends. I wasn’t an innocent bystander; I’d been a member of the board of the directors that managed the restaurant since it was established in 1975, and still am. I wrote one chapter each for the Seventies, Eighties, Nineties, and 2000s, centering each on a single incident—the opening in 1971, a table full of coke dealers in the 1980s, Bill Clinton showing up one night in the 1990s, a dinner to mark a friend’s death in the 2000s. The publisher said the book had to be in Alice’s voice, so what I wrote, aside from a few snippets scattered around with the memories and comments of dozens of others, was never published. I’ll be running the chapters weekly, over the next month. I still recognize the place as it was in these pages; I hope others do too.
We went to chez panisse in the 80s, a wonderful experience, so popular we had to take a 6.00 booking. Thank you for sharing its history