'Chez Panisse' on Serious Eats

Meet a Forager: Avia Hawksworth, Farmstead Restaurant in Napa Valley

This week we bring you something a little bit different from our typical Meet Your Farmers profiles. Avia Hawksworth isn't a farmer. She's the forager for the newly-opened Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena, California. That means she sources local ingredients for the always-rotating menu and educates diners on where they're food is coming. Chez Panisse was first to start a "forager" position back in the 1970s. More

Cook the Book: 'A Platter of Figs'

The central concept of David Tanis' new cookbook, A Platter of Figs, is best expressed in the vignette on page 42 describing his "parsnip epiphany." This is a book about cooking seasonal foods simply and skillfully. It's about supporting local farmers, preserving the environment, and maintaining a sustainable kitchen. But most importantly, it's about the pure pleasure of eating a perfectly crisp fall radish, or a concord grape bursting with sweet juice. For six months a year, David Tanis acts as the head chef at Chez Panisse. Since the 1980s, he has worked closely with Alice Waters to help craft and shape the restaurant's illustrious style. The other half of the year David can be found in Paris, where... More

Water Works: How To Make Seltzer at Home

The Soda-Club Home Seltzer Maker kit costs less than $100, and contains a carbonating bottle with enough carbon dioxide to make up to 110 liters of seltzer. Think about it: that's 110 less liter-sized bottles in the recycling bin, or worse, the trash can. More

The New House Specialty: Tap Water

The SF Chronicle's Carol Ness reports on one of the area's newest trends: "At a small but growing number of sustainably inclined Bay Area restaurants, bottled water has become as much of an outcast as farmed salmon and out-of-season tomatoes. Instead of bottled water, diners now are served free carafes of -- gasp! -- tap water. It's filtered and comes still or sparkling, fizzed up by a soda-fountain-style carbonating machine." Incanto's been serving tap for years but Chez Panisse used to go through 24,000 bottles of Italian water, an ironic choice for a pioneer of sustainability to make. They investigated using locally made sparkling waters but found them too carbonated to go with their food; eventually they purchased a $400... More

Can Organic Be Cheap?

This guy wants to be an everyman's Chez Panisse. How does he do it? --Making choices: he switched from Straus Family Creamery milk back to regular milk when he realized not enough people cared about the difference. --Wasting less: "Businesses in general and restaurants in particular are extremely wasteful," says Ross. --No tablecloths, less laundry, reducing the quantities used of bleach. --Occasionally losing money: "Muse has not broken even consistently," [Ross] says. "Quality is very important to me, and I keep ratcheting that up. Oftentimes the bottom line isn't there. It's not a great way of running a business." Sounds like a pretty cool guy. Here's an article on another one of his restaurants.... More

More Posts