If you have been following the evolution of America’s food scene over the past few decades, you probably know of Alice Waters. Her iconic restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California, has been steadfast at the forefront of trends like eating local, eating seasonal and slow food, just to name a few. It’s hard to believe that 2021 is the 50th anniversary of Chez Panisse.

Noting the anniversary, she was interviewed in the NY Times a week or so ago. I was very surprised to see this excerpt : “Let me ask: Is there a food that has been especially comforting during the pandemic? Well, Fanny and I, we’d both be working, and she’d say — at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon — “Is it time yet?” Then we’d toast this delicious loaf of Acme Bread’s. They’re making it with whole grains, and it’s got a great crust on it. It’s a little sour. Fanny immediately goes to the toaster oven, and I go and get the garlic — fresh garlic — and a great bottle of olive oil. We cook that toast till it’s dark and then rub it with garlic and pour some olive oil on it and just eat it there. We also make a big pot of beans — or I should say Fanny would — at the beginning of the week, and we use them all week. It’s red beans, red-and-white — all the colors of beans! Fanny really taught me how to cook them: You put in onion, carrots, celery and bouquet garni. When they’re finished, they are incredible. That’s one of my favorite things to do, make that pot of beans. I’m making one today with chard and kale and whatever greens — if you have salad that’s wilted too much, you can sauté it up with a lot of garlic, put those greens in. Those beans make a great breakfast in a taco. They make a pasta. They are right there when you need them.”

My thoughts exactly!