With a degree in French Cultural Studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967, a 19 year old Alice Waters took a trip to France, visiting farmer's markets for the first time, and the rest is culinary history. Falling in love with the ingredients as well as the finished dishes led her back to Berkeley, California, where in 1971, along with a group of friends, she opened Chez Panisse. Along with two additional establishments, Cafe at Chez Panisse (1980) and Cafe Fanny (1984, named after her 1-year old daughter), Chez Panisse to this day faithfully displays Waters' philosophy and culinary principles of always using the highest quality, fresh, seasonal and most delicious ingredients.
Chez Panisse has always offered a fixed price menu, which changes every night to reflect the season and the best available ingredients. Through the years Waters has discovered a network of ranchers, farmers, and suppliers that have guaranteed a steady supply of the freshest ingredients, mostly organically grown. The Cafe at Chez Panisse (located upstairs of the original restaurant), with an open kitchen and a wood-burning pizza oven, serves both lunch and dinner from an a la carte menu that also changes daily. The even more casual Cafe Fanny, just a few miles from both restaurants, is a stand-up cafe serving breakfast and lunch.
- Chez Panisse is located downstairs at 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California, and is open for dinner Monday through Saturday by reservation only, as far ahead as one month in advance. The restaurant serves a 3 or 4 course, fixed price menu, at two seatings. For additional information and reservations, please call (510) 548-5525.
- The Cafe at Chez Panisse is located upstairs at 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California, and is open for a la carte lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
- Cafe Fanny serves breakfast and lunch at 1619 5th St., Berkeley, California.
Alice Waters is named One of the Ten Best Chefs in the World in 1986 by Cuisine et Vins du France magazine, and Best Chef in America and Best Restaurant in America by the James Beard Foundation in 1992. She has authored and co-authored several books.
Recognized by the James Beard Foundation as its 1997 Humanitarian of the Year, Alice Waters remains actively involved in the community through projects such as the development of an edible garden at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. This project teaches the students to respect the planet and each other while learning to plant, garden, harvest, and cook.
In addition to being a member of the board of the Public Voice on Food Safety and Health, Waters is on the board of the Garden Project, which began as an organic garden within the San Francisco County Jail, and has now extended its job training outreach to other areas of the community. The non-profit Chez Panisse Foundation was established in 1996 to attract public support for these and other programs that teach sustainability, strengthen community, cultivate an appreciation for seasonality, and reinforce self-esteem by creating opportunities for people to grow, prepare, and share food.
For additional information:
- Restaurateur & Chef - Chez Panisse, Chez Panisse Cafe, Cafe Fanny - Berkeley, California
- Author and co-author of several books
- Culinary principles - always using the highest quality, fresh, seasonal and most delicious ingredients
- Teach students to respect the planet and each other while learning to plant, garden, harvest, and cook