As you pulled this magazine out of your market bag and set it on your kitchen table, Chez Panisse has just turned 50 years old. And if you also pulled out some brilliantly colored peppers, a fat striped tomato, plump figs, some glossy eggplants, and enticing ears of corn, these are far more likely to be from a local farm that you know by name than they were a half-century ago, before the famous restaurant launched the farm-to-table movement into popular view.
Even now, as we face such painfully trying times, it’s good to stop and think about how that food movement we associate with Chez Panisse has broadened. We no longer look for just freshness and flavors, but also equity and respect at our sharing tables.
In addition to honoring Chez Panisse, this issue also visits the Freedom Farmers’ Market, where a community-building effort showcases the joy and labor of African American farmers. You’ll also learn about Just Fare, a business that combines great takeout with community service and generous wages. At the Girls Garage, you’ll see an effort to train and enable a young and diverse group not generally associated with carpentry in the past as they build a greenhouse for urban agriculture.
And, of course, we have plenty of recipes and inspiration to help you relish and fully appreciate the bounty of our fall harvest season. May it bring you joy and plenty.
Cheryl Angelina Koehler
Publisher and Editor
Edible East Bay
Berkeley artist and publisher L. John Harris made the drawing below, a forward-looking street view of Chez Panisse, in September 2011 on the occasion of the restaurant’s 40th anniversary. As he ponders the 50th year, Harris sees how his vision is fitting, if not even more prophetic: