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.
©2012 Alice Waters (P)2012 Alice Waters/The Kitchen Sisters
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.
I listened to this audiobook and it was amazing. If you like the style of reporting commonly used by NPR, you will love it too. Not only did Alice Waters narrate a good portion of the book, but scores of others chimed in with their perspective and recollections. Music was carefully chosen to accompany the various segments. And the icing on the cake, was that this is a topic near and dear to me ... local foods over agri-business production of food. Local farmers, butchers, foragers, wine makers and more. This was delightful.
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