Monday, September 22, 2008

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse I have just started to read Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee which tells the evolution of Alice Waters and her world-famous restaurant. I am not very far yet – currently Alice is protesting at UC Berkeley in the 1960s – but I stumbled upon this “family tree” of all her progeny restaurant offspring. It notes that they have started at least 12 outstanding restaurants in the Bay Area, including Pizzaiolo, Camino, Oliveto, and Zuni CafĂ©. (I have sampled 10 of the places.) In addition, many have gone on to become personal chefs for the uber-rich.

So far, McNamee’s book is breezy and a little on the light side. But maybe the beginning is the like an appetizer: meant to whet my appetite before the heartier main course.

Did you notice how I crossed out progeny and inserted those other words? I just did that so I could use my new, favorite writing tool The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. I heard about it, sadly enough, upon the death of David Foster Wallace. He had contributed a number of entries. I was clued into the book by Lisa Gold, who writes a blog called Research Maven. My kind of gal.

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