Synopses & Reviews
Chez Panisse, a small restaurant in Berkeley, California, opened its doors in the summer of 1971. For forty years, the restaurant and its founder, legendary chef Alice Waters, has had a profound influence on food, farming, cooking, and dining around the world. In the beginning, Waters saw the beauty and aesthetic of fine printing as a way to communicate at the outset of the diners' experience the care and attention given to the preparation of their dinner. Berkeley-based artist Patricia Curtan began hand printing menus for the restaurant during its early years, while employed as a cook in the Chez Panisse kitchen. Curtan's menus, works of art in their own right, capture the unique spirit of the famous restaurant with letterpress and linoleum-block prints on beautiful paper. In Menus for Chez Panisse, Curtan presents four decades of menus including dinners for special guests such as Julia Child, Hillary Clinton, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and James Beard with notes about the menus, the artwork, the occasions, and, of course, the food.
This book is a collection of menus designed specifically for Chez Panisse. Menus were created in a variety of formats, which explains the larger trim to accommodate one, two, or three menus. Curtan includes wonderful anecdotes (about the restaurant, the people, the food, the occasions celebrated by the menus, and the process of designing and printing the menus). The book ends with an illustrated look at Curtan s process (press, type, design, linoleum blocks, etc). Also, samples of linoleum blocks are scattered throughout the book.