40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, is an audiobook collaboration between legendary food pioneer Alice Waters and NPR's Kitchen Sisters. Alice narrates the saga of her trailblazing restaurant and the food movement it helped spawn, along with the voices of some 50 of her collaborators and friends. Peabody Award-winning radio producers The Kitchen Sisters bring their signature, richly layered audio style to Alice's powerful story of the life and founding of Chez Panisse. Told decade by decade, this compelling tale of food and political transformation opens in the tumultuous 1960s and travels across 40 years, tracing how a small neighborhood restaurant in Berkeley, California, helped ignite a movement for edible education and local, organic, and delicious food.
Along with Alice we hear from dozens of people who have helped create the food movement, including Wendell Berry, Calvin Trillin, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Ruth Reichl, Marion Cunningham, Edna Lewis, Maira Kalman, Anna Deavere Smith, Hillary Clinton, Slow Food President Carlo Petrini, theater impresario Peter Sellars, farmer Bob Cannard, and many more - including chefs, farmers, gardeners, restaurateurs, artists, musicians, and writers. These voices are mixed with readings, interviews, music, sound, archival audio and field recordings captured by The Kitchen Sisters over decades of chronicling Alice's travels and efforts. Lively, inspiring and soulful, this audiobook is over six hours of story spanning 40 years in the life of a pioneering and visionary restaurant and the woman who dreamed it up.
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Tasty. Sort of.
This book praises Alice Waters to the point of canonization. She's slapped on the back so much I'm surprised the woman can walk upright. The book made me very hungry but didn't feed me. It's the descriptions of the food and the way the book was constructed that gets my three stars.
- Aaron Elliott
This is an excellent book to learn about the food movements in the U.S., as well as for the life and people around Chez Panisse. I was surprised to see the rating was only 4 stars for such a great book. When I examined the reviews here, I saw that many of them are composed of Amazon reviews from people purchasing old copies of the book and receiving them late or damaged from Amazon sellers. Those reviews have nothing to do with Audible. If you enjoy books about food, this one covers the life of Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse staff; and offers some insights about food and Berkeley life.