Friday, September 10, 2010

Alice Waters' Kitchen in Vanity Fair

{Alice Waters's kitchen at her home in Berkeley  ~ Vanity Fair}

You can see the full image and snippet at Vanity Fair here.

Who wouldn't be jealous of this kitchen? I think I could just live in this room if my kitchen looked like this.  I took my family to her restaurant, Chez Panisse to celebrate my parents' anniversary a little over 2 years ago. We went upstairs to the Café since I barely started my brand new job after graduating UCSD... couldn't quite afford dinner for the whole family downstairs yet. It was a scrumptious lunch and I admired the touches here and there like sparkling water carbonated in house, the fresh Acme bread and we got to sit next to the open kitchen so we were treated with a front row view of everything being prepared in the kitchen. We enjoyed every bit of our meal, the preparation of the vegetables and pasta and proteins were perfect.

That being said, I think Alice Waters is a little odd... brilliant but also odd. A while back ago EHK and I were watch 60 Minutes, and caught a segment where Alice Waters was making breakfast for Lesley Stahl. I was in awe at the setup in her kitchen then just as I am now looking at this photo. One thing this photo misses is her roaring open fire like in the middle of her kitchen. Below is a video for your viewing pleasure of the madness. She has this crazy wood fire going and she's making an egg in some crazy long iron spoon over this fire... for breakfast. Who has time to build a fire, let alone in their kitchen to make an egg???

A few months ago Anthony Bourdain gave an interview on NPR's Talk of the Nation which is below. He talks about his show, No Reservations, last book, Kitchen Confidential, current book Medium Raw and answers questions for the majority of the interview but also gets a few words in on his 2 cents about Alice Waters. Starting at around minute 23 in the interview below is when Bourdain starts talking about Waters. I couldn't agree more with his thoughts. Cooking an egg over a raging fire in the kitchen is quite out of reach for the average American and using vegetables from Chino Farm doesn't seem to fit the image of the pioneer of sustainable and local ingredients. I'm thrilled that Chino Farm is practically a hop, skip and jump away in Rancho Santa Fe for me but its easily a day's trip on road up to Berkeley. I don't think her eccentric comments would keep me from visiting Chez Panisse again but maybe she should think about how her actions and words measure up.

Here is the accompanying article for the Bourdain interview.

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709-1516

(510) 548-5049 (for the Café upstairs)
(510) 548-552  (for the Restaurant downstairs)

Chino Farm
6123 Calzada Del Bosque
Rancho Santa Fe, 92067


  1. I'm terribly jealous!!! Wish I had an island and fresh produce casually spread out for whatever culinary mood I might be in...


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