On August 28th a restaurant widely regarded as one of the best in the country, Chez Panisse, will celebrate its 40th anniversary. To commemorate the momentous occasion, chef-owner Alice Waters and her staff have chosen to honor the chefs and writers who have inspired them — one per week over the 40 weeks leading up to the birthday celebration.
This week, diners eating in the upstairs café at Chez Panisse will enjoy dishes inspired by Colman Andrews, a renowned food writer and The Daily Meal's Editorial Director. Asked about the tribute, the Communications Director at Chez Panisse, David Prior explained, "We have always been inspired by how well researched and articulate his books are. Every time we refer back to them we find something new to inspire us."
When it came to crafting the menus this week, Prior explained that the chefs drew inspiration from Andrews' entire collection of works, but the dishes will reflect heavily on his Catalan recipes because the cuisine lends itself particularly well to the Chez Panisse style.
Reflecting on the honor of being recognized by Waters and her staff, Andrews explained, "I had no idea they were doing this until I saw it on Twitter. I'm honored that I can somehow inspire, however temporarily, a place that has itself so greatly inspired so many American chefs and restaurateurs. That said, coincidentally I was actually planning to have lunch at the Café on Saturday. I hope they don't make me eat my own food."
Other food industry icons to have been honored so far include Cecilia Chang, Madhur Jaffrey, Jacques Pépin, and Julia Child. Prior noted that this process has helped the staff to reflect on the history of Chez Panisse and those individuals who have helped to shape the restaurant through the years.
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