Monday, October 18, 2010

My Lunch at Chez Panisse

 Chez Panisse

It's every "foodie's" dream to dine at Chez Panisse. 

It's hard to believe that I'm an East Bay native and had never dined at Chez Panisse.  Turns out, I'm glad I waited.  Last week I had the pleasure of lunching with special friends at Chez Panisse . 

My friend Catherine has been anxious for me to meet her daughter who lives in Paris.  I finally had the chance to meet her.  My friend's daughter just happens to be... Meg Zimbeck.

Meg is a food/travel writer and food critic living in Paris.  You can imagine how excited I was to finally meet Meg.  I love Paris, I love food and I love to travel.  Meg filled me in on all three over lunch with her Mom at Chez Panisse. 

 Farm to Table

I love the Chez Panisse story. 

Proprietor/chef/author Alice Waters visited France in 1964 and fell in love with the French way of life.  In 1971, she started a food revolution when she opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. 

Waters is credited with pioneering the California Cuisine movement.  Her philosophy:  fresh seasonal foods produced locally. 

I love the farm to table approach to food.  Upon our arrival, just before the lunch hour, we saw a produce van delivering farm fresh produce and the Acme Bread truck driving away. We enjoyed both with our lunch!

 Baked Goat Cheese with Garden Salad

I tore out the recipe for the Chez Panisse Baked Goat Cheese Garden Salad in the September 2010 Wine Spectator magazine.  So you can imagine my delight when I found it on the menu at Chez Panisse. 

Fortunately for you, Alice Waters recipe is now on Epicurious.  Just click here for the recipe.

My review:   my salad had the tenderest salad greens I have ever tasted.  I loved the subtle surprise taste of  the fleur de sel (sea salt) seasoning as I enjoyed my salad.  Hint, hint...that's not in the recipe so be sure to add a bit of finishing fleur de sel on your salad greens just before serving. 

The Main Event

We unanimously agreed that Meg's entree was the best.  She took the waiter's advice and had the Soul Food Chicken Leg Confit with Creamy Corn and Wild Rocket.   Catherine had the Tomales Bay Clams & Spicy Pork Sausage entree and I enjoyed the Casarecce Pasta with Pesto and Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes. 

Over lunch Meg introduced us to Francois Chidaine, a lovely French wine from the Loire Valley. 

I really enjoyed my lunch and can now say that I have dined at world-renowned Chez Panisse.  The best part though was lunching with my good friend Catherine and her adorable daughter Meg.  Meg's conversation about Paris just makes me want to go back to Paris even sooner. 

I asked Meg what seemed like a million questions about  Paris and she generously answered them all for me. 

If you love Paris, food and wine like sure to read Meg's personal blog and  Paris By Mouth (she's the editor).  For foodies, Meg has a Ceviche recipe in Dorie Greenspan's new cook book Around My French Table.   

You can also spot Meg in Paris, with her cheese knife, giving French food tours.  Contact Meg for tour information.  I can't wait to take one!

1 comment:

Ruth said...

I bet it was wonderful. I even love the entryway! Thanks for another fun blog - I have reserved "Around My French Table" from the library. Off to Loops - just enjoyed a cuppa Earl Grey Lavendar tea :)