The Slow Food Movement started in 1989 as an anti-thesis of fast food, countering the human race’s disinterest in where their food came from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the world. Renowned chef and author, Alice Waters, co-founded Chez Panisse in 1971 with a group of friends just as an avenue for her to cook for friends in an intimate, comfortable atmosphere.
The restaurant was built in an Arts and Crafts house on Shattuck Ave in Berkeley, CA. The decor with its wooden pillars and brick and copper walls foster a warm feeling as soon as you enter. The Chez Panisse Café was opened in 1980 to offer an alternative menu to the restaurant downstairs. The menu in both the restaurant and the café changes every day depending on what local ingredients they can source.
I’ve always been a big fan of open kitchens. There’s a welcoming feeling that comes with it when you can see the chefs at work and the ingredients that they’re using to prepare your food.
We ordered the homemade linguine with shrimp, grilled artichokes and yellowjack.
Obviously the fresh ingredients did those dishes wonders. I especially liked the linguine, exceptionally homey.
The dessert was equally good. We got the poached pear upside down cake and the tart (can’t for the life of me remember what was in it haha).
The café is definitely more accessible than the restaurant, where you need to call ahead months in advance in order to get in, so try there if you can’t get a spot at the restaurant.
1517 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709-1598