Dear Alice Waters

Dear Alice,

I have been inspired. The moment I entered your restaurant all my senses were tickled with joy: seeing the fresh plums that would become my dessert, hearing the gentle clatter of chefs in the kitchen, smelling the delicious aroma of each entree as it passed my table, and finally tasting every succulent bite. Until now, I have never tasted food that actually brought tears to my eyes. I like to think it’s more than just food that triggered such a response. It’s the positive impact you’ve had on American cooking. It’s the importance of supporting our local farms. It’s the reminder to slow down and savor.

The current entertainment buzz is all about a new movie entitled Julie and Julia. It’s a romantic and admirable story. A down-on-her-luck secretary cooks her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and blogs about it, inspiring a movie recounting the whole experience. I’m looking forward to seeing it this weekend. Having just finished Julia Child’s My Life in France, cooking and eating are at the forefront of my interests.

While dining at Chez Panisse earlier this week I had an idea. I will cook my way through your book, The Art of Simple Food, and blog about it. As Julie is to Julia, so Amber will be to Alice. I’ve no intention of writing a book. I’m not looking for a movie deal. I don’t even want to be a “food personality.” All I want from this experience is to get back to basics. I want to remind myself of the joy of preparing food that is simple and delicious while eating seasonally and supporting local farming as much as possible. I hope you don’t mind. I’m quite looking forward to it.

The cookbook has been ordered and will arrive next week. Thank you for the inspiration.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


2 responses to “Dear Alice Waters

  1. Lovely and appropriate idea! How lucky for you and yours to have the delightful experience to dine at Chez Panisse! When my husband Greg and I lived in Oakland, he surprised me, one magical birthday with a reservation at the very place. It was an absolute treat and an incredibly thoughtful gift, as you know, because this is no casual dining experience. I wholeheartedly agree that Alice Waters is a true inspiration and I can’t wait to see what you write about and to read the recipes, etc. as you work your way through her book. I’m looking forward to it! Enjoy the experience!

    • Yes, a true must for those of us visiting the area. I remember that you guys lived nearby for a while. It’s funny–we had been planning this trip to Berkeley all summer and then only a week before we left it occurred to me that Chez Panisse was there. So I went online and luckily was able to get a lunch reservation a week out. Whew! What luck. We made friends with the couple seated beside us and we all shared food. Great experience. Inspired the blog. Thanks for reading!!

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