What’s in Alice Waters’s Pantry?

Alice Waters and Fanny Singer Photo by Eric Wolfinger

Alice Waters and Fanny Singer. Photo by Eric Wolfinger

Meet California cuisine founder Alice Waters as she signs copies of her latest cookbook and talks about the building-block ingredients she relies on. My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own is a delightful collection of essays and recipes illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by Alice’s daughter, Fanny. Bring your culinary questions, and learn about the stocks, sauces, and other staples that Waters considers essential. To create unique gifts, pair your book with pantry items matching the book’s recipes. Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971, is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, and created the Chez Panisse Foundation and The Edible Schoolyard in 1996. Info: here or 510.250.6005

Alice Waters
My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own
Book Signing, Conversations, and Tastings
Saturday November 28, 1–2pm
Rockridge Market Hall / The Pasta Shop
5655 College Ave, Oakland



Peek into Alice Waters’ Home Kitchen

Review by Kristina Sepetys

My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients that
Make Simple Meals Your Own
by Alice Waters with Fanny Singer
(Pam Krauss Books, 2015)


A pantry is that place in the kitchen—a separate room or maybe just a cupboard or a few shelves—where dishes, linens, tableware, and essential foodstuffs are stored. The foodstuffs are the focus of Alice Waters’ latest cookbook, a charming collection of essays and recipes for creating the foundations of most dishes.

Alice Waters' daughter, Fanny Singer, illustrates the book with sweet pen-and-ink drawings.

Alice Waters’ daughter, Fanny Singer, illustrates the book with sweet pen-and-ink drawings.

The iconic Waters needs no introduction to Edible East Bay readers. Fanny Singer, who provides colorful, winsome pen-and-ink illustrations to the slim 144-page volume, is Waters’ daughter. In a style similar to her many other books—earnest and convinced that everything we eat should be thoughtfully produced and delight all the senses—Waters invites readers into her home pantry, which she claims “defines my personal cooking aesthetic.” She shares how she shops for, stores, and prepares the pantry staples that form the core of her daily meals. The book is organized by chapters like Spice Mixtures and Condiments; Nuts, Beans and Other Legumes; Savory Preserves; Whole Grains; Preserved Fish and Meat; Cheese; and Sweet Preserves and Spirits (lots to intrigue here, like Candied Rose and Mint Petals, Lovage Syrup, and Quince and Apple Paste). Recipes include essentials like Red Wine Vinegar (“While this may sound a bit advanced or arcane, I promise you it is not”), Apple Peel Cider Vinegar, Pickled Young Ginger, Sweet Peppers and Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Tomato Sauce, as well as more indulgent supplies like Fanny’s Superfood Granola, Chocolate Nut Bark, and Slow Roasted Nuts with Sage Leaves.

A well-stocked pantry makes cooking easier, dishes more memorable, and “encourages the best kind of impromptu cooking.” In Waters’ words, “A familiar pantry is like being surrounded by friends who won’t let you down, within instant reach.”