Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse fifty years ago as a place where friends and neighbors could gather together around the table, eat good food, and exchange ideas about politics, art, and culture. The restaurant served one set menu that changed daily, highlighting local ingredients that were ripe and in season.
In pursuit of taste, Alice and the cooks of Chez Panisse ended up at the doorsteps of the small organic farmers who were growing flavorful heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables or raising heritage breeds of animals. Over time, the restaurant has built up a diverse network of these ethical local suppliers—ranchers, fishers, orchardists, foragers, farmers, and backyard gardeners—who practice regenerative agriculture and take care of the land.
In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Chez Panisse temporarily closed all dining at the restaurant. In its place we have created an open-air marketplace, offering weekly farm boxes and prepared food items to nourish our Bay Area community and support our staff and network of producers through the crisis. Chez Panisse now offers prepared meals, sides, pantry supplies, desserts, wine, and beer to pick up from our outdoor front patio Wednesday through Saturday. Our Sunday marketplace, which also includes weekly seasonal organic produce boxes curated by the Chez Panisse chefs, operates in the outdoor space adjacent to the restaurant.
In this challenging anniversary year, we will look to our roots and history, and many mentors, cooks, and authors, such as Elizabeth David, Richard Olney, Lulu Peyraud, Diana Kennedy, Edna Lewis, Madhur Jaffrey, and others, to inspire our weekly menus. We are grateful for the support of our loyal patrons and customers and look forward to the time when we can open our doors once again and welcome back our community of friends to celebrate 50 years.
Website artwork courtesy of Patricia Curtan