Ellen took me to Chez Panisse for dinner and I was in heaven! The reason a visit to this restaurant is so particularly momentous for us is that I bought the book, Fanny at Chez Panisse, when it first came out and we used to read it with the girls all the time. The story is told by Alice Waters from the perspective of her 7-year-old daughter, Fanny, who grows up surrounded by life in a busy restaurant. She describes the path food takes from farm to market to kitchen to table, and the book even includes lots of great recipes. Another reason we often chose this book is that while Fanny was growing up surrounded by the spoons and whisks of her busy family business, our girls were growing up surrounded by the paints and brushes of Cathy Heck Studio, so Fanny’s life seemed as crazy as ours.
It’s been a few years since we enjoyed the story together, but the food tasted as delicious as we had imagined curled up behind the pages of the book. This was our great dinner: