Sustainable Food and Chez Panisse Cafe

Over this past weekend, I experienced firsthand sustainable food at Chez Panisse Cafe located in Berkeley, California.   Alice Waters is the chef credited for creating the sustainable foods movement when she opened Chez Panisse close to 40 years ago.

Chez Panisse Cafe has been opened for 30 years and after sampling the delicious whole wheat sourdough bread served with the incredible olive oil (okay I will admit I ate nearly the entire loaf!) and then sharing a rocket salad and clams for lunch, it’s no wonder why the cafe was jammed packed.  Sustainable food philosophy is to source fine local ingredients that not only are organic but also seasonal.  I believe it is evident in the taste of the sustainable foods as well since there is more flavor to these food products than mass produced food.

Since we were celebrating a birthday at Chez Panisse Cafe, we were treated to a delicious serving of apricot ice cream, another fine example of the sustainable food we experienced.  I could have sworn I was biting into the fresh apricot itself – not just a spoonful of ice cream.  Us foodies and sustainable foods junkies are indebted to Alice Waters and her desire to serve the freshest tasting, best and locally produced ingredients for our own food enjoyment!

We also experienced a fantastic pizza with tuna on top.  Never would I have thought to add tuna to my pizza and I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was.  I ate 2 slices.  (It was a big bread weekend!)

On the way out of Chez Panisse Cafe I couldn’t help but walk by the desserts sitting upon the kitchen counter.  Again, the sustainable food philosophy was evident in the fresh fruit tarts and of course the chocolate brownies.  Being a lover of chocolate, I couldn’t resist purchasing a brownie to go.  It was a good thing that my fiancee bought the brownie because when I heard how much it was I nearly choked on it.  I just made sure that not a morsel of brownie was left.  We were going to eat every last penny of this most expensive dessert I have ever experienced!

Finally, even the wines were a good example of sustainable foods.  We ordered a bottle of wine and it was served out of a metal container, not a glass bottle.  Apparently many restaurants are now serving wines in this fashion to save on cork as well as glass.

All in all, I loved my foodie experience at Chez Panisse Cafe and can’t wait to go back.  Everything tasted so fresh – a testament to the sustainable food movement.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun and economical to all!

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