I'll need to read this book to get in touch with my roots. Living in the Gourmet Ghetto just wouldn't be the same without Alice's influence -- a bowl of home grown sweet 100s in a balsamic reduction, freshly squeezed roasted garlic eaten with remnants of meyer lemon slivers embedded under the fingernails, and er... opium stuffed up my asshole? Cough. I mean, a fine bottle of Loire Valley rouge, corked and exhuding it's gamay scent all over the pepper pot.
"It's the 1970s in Berkeley, California, and things are getting raunchy in the kitchen of Chez Panisse, where the cooks are busy revolutionizing high-end U.S. restaurant food -- among other activities:
"As dealers started showing up at the back door with regularity, [one cook] and some of his acquaintances got into increasingly harder stuff. "We were doing opium stuffing," he says. "You stick it up your ass. Just a quarter of a gram, a little ball, and you bypass the alimentary canal. You don't get nauseous -- you just absorb it." -- from David Kamp's
United States of Arugula
"Vanity Fair staff writer Kamp's account of Chez Panisse's early days is a great, ribald read. It recounts the epic clash between the elegant earth mother Alice Waters and the Falstaffian proto-celebrity chef Jeremiah Tower over the soul of what is probably the most influential restaurant in U.S. history."
[Tom Philpott, Gristmill]