Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook — By Alice Waters

“Longing for a heart to heart with the woman who changed the way America eats? This is your chance. Alice has written a book so intimate that, although I’ve known her most of my life, I feel I’ve finally gotten to know her.”

—Ruth Reichl

“Ms. Waters is the reason restaurants started naming farms on menus and serving mesclun salads and American-made goat cheese.”

— Kim Severson, New York Times

“[Waters] does an artful job of showing how even the most apparently unrelated experiences helped lead her to her profession. She is also quite frank about her failures; her relationships with lovers, friends, and colleagues; and her pride in remaining a part of the 1960s counterculture that nourished her. An almost charmed restaurant life that exhales the sweet aromas of honesty and self-awareness.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“Through Chez Panisse, her decades of writing, advocacy and yes, dreaming, Waters has helped change how Americans eat for the better through the culinary expression of her counterculture convictions.”

—Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune

Notable Press & Accolades:

New York Times bestseller in Hardcover Nonfiction

Publishers Weekly bestseller in Hardcover Nonfiction

Los Angeles Times bestseller in Hardcover Nonfiction

IndieBound bestseller in Hardcover Nonfiction

The Best Books Written About Food in 2017—The Independent

The New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed 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 — Chez Panisse.

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.

THE DETAILS

Format: New, paperback

Published: May 22, 2018

Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Reprint edition 

ISBN: 978-0307718297

Pages: 320 

Dimensions: 5.2 inches x 0.8 inches x 8 inches

Alice Waters

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alice Waters was born on April, 28, 1944, in Chatham, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967, with a degree in French cultural studies before training at the International Montessori School in London. Her daughter, Fanny, was born in 1983.

Chez Panisse Restaurant opened in 1971, serving a single fixed-price menu that changed daily. The set menu format remains at the heart of Alice’s’ philosophy of serving the most delicious organic products only when they are in season.

Over the course of three decades, Chez Panisse has developed a network of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures Chez Panisse a steady supply of pure and fresh ingredients.

In 1996, in celebration of the restaurant’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Alice created the Chez Panisse Foundation. The Edible Schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr Middle School is the foundation’s primary beneficiary. More information is available on the foundation’s website, www.chezpanissefoundation.org


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