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It’s a book about everything that comes before the cookbook. The chefs, the food, the craft. The regulars and the people who travel from far, far away for one meal. The stories, the attention to detail, the mission. It’s a love letter to the restaurant that changed the way we think about food.
Photographer Amanda Marsalis saw something magical at Chez Panisse. Yes, it was the food, but it was also everything that went into the food. Chez Panisse has a commitment to what they do and how they do it. They value their craft, their place, and their people with such authentic fervor, that anyone who walks through their doors feels an automatic sense of community and belonging. There’s a kind of pull that happens when you drop into their world: it’s hard to leave, and you get the sense that you’ll never, ever find another place that treats you so well.
Marsalis’s “Chez Panisse” is a tribute in stunning full-bleed photography to this special place. The simple and painstakingly-delicate act of shelling English peas. Seasons that bear new produce, new colors, new light. Women and men who cut flowers, layer Meyer lemons, fold the edge of a rhubarb tart, share a pre-service family dinner. These pages capture a simple truth: it takes a community to feed people good food.
This respect for community began with the legendary chef, author, and Chez Panisse proprietor, Alice Waters, who has made it her life’s mission to build and share an edible education curriculum for all Pre-K through 12 schools. Her Edible Schoolyard Project was founded on the same farm-to-table movement that birthed Chez Panisse.