Early this morning, sometime between 1 and 3 a.m., a fire broke out at one of the world’s best-known restaurants, the iconic Chez Panisse (1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley). It is the second fire at the restaurant, which was founded in 1971 by Alice Waters. The destruction is less severe than that caused by the first fire, which closed the restaurant for several months in 1982, and it appears so far to be limited to the large front porch, though the downstairs dining room was flooded and the gorgeous wisteria vine that embraced the restaurant’s entrance has been destroyed.

The entrance to Alice Water's beloved Chez Panisse

In an interview on KTVU this morning, Alice says she hopes to re-open by March 21, which is Parsi New Year, but she does not know yet if that can happen. The cause of the fire and its extent are currently being investigated.

You can see the live interview with Alice Waters here.

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  1. Claire Ossenbeck

    Thank you for your wonderful column. 2 questions here. What is your best source for black peppercorns now that Penzeys does not carry the Sarawak?
    And where can we find raw milk (especially goat’s milk) for amateur home cheese making? We found raw cow’s milk at Oliver’s.

    March 10th, 2013 12:40 pm

  2. MicheleAnna.Jordan

    Thanks so much, Claire. As far as pepper goes, I’m currently using pepper-passion.com. I don’t feel I’ve found the holy grail yet but they have some fine peppercorns. And I’m still looking. As far as raw goat’s milk goes, you need to contact a goat farmer directly. I know of no retail source. If you need some suggestions, send me an email at catsmilk@sonic.net (but I can’t provide you with cat’s milk . . ).

    March 11th, 2013 10:03 pm

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