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Louisiana Eats: 50 Years of Chez Panisse

Chez Panisses' Facade
Brooke Raymond
Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Chez Panisses' Facade

In August 1971, a food revolution was quietly launched in California with the opening of a small Berkeley bistro called Chez Panisse. At a time when pre-packaged fast food was all the rage in the U.S., Chez Panisse created dishes using locally sourced meats and farm-to-table produce. The fabled restaurant became an incubator for the Slow Food movement and sparked a change in attitudes toward food across America.

At the helm, was founder and food revolutionary Alice Waters. And in the kitchen, were a succession of talented chefs who would go on to gain success in their own endeavors.

On this week's show, we celebrate 50 years of Chez Panisse by digging into our archives to bring you the voices of some of its famous alumni. We begin with Jeremiah Tower, who teamed up with Waters to put Chez Panisse on the map.

We then voyage into the vegetable kingdom with Deborah Madison, and explore Jewish cooking with Joyce Goldstein who both spent formative years in the Chez Panisse kitchen.

Finally, we revisit our conversation with Cal Peternell, who spent 22 years of his life with the Chez Panisse family.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.