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It’s hard to believe that 50 years have passed since legendary chef Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, a restaurant that popularized “California cuisine” - a.k.a what East Coasters call dishes that use fresh, seasonal produce. It’s also a nice round number of years to elapse before Waters opens her hotly anticipated new restaurant at the University of California Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum in Westwood this fall. Waters and her team are playing it close to the vest when it comes to details, but here’s what’s gotten out so far:
- The new restaurant—so far without a publicly released name—will be Alice Waters’ first in Los Angeles. DM us with your best guesses.
- Waters will open the new spot in collaboration with David Tanis, who often worked with her as head chef at Chez Panisse. Tanis left in 2011 to focus on food writing, such as his column for the New York Times and his 480 page part cookbook, part vegetable bible David Tanis Market Cooking.
- Oliver Monday, brother of Waters’ godson Nico Monday (who was himself also a chef at Chez Panisse), will be the forager for the new restaurant - hopefully he avoids the brush along Wilshire.
- A Hammer Museum representative said that the restaurant will “highlight wholesome foods sourced from local farms dedicated to responsible and regenerative farming practices.”
- “Waters sees the project as an ongoing experimental endeavor—a restaurant that is also a teaching kitchen, an artistic expression, and most importantly, a community gathering place,” per a statement from Waters’ team. “The feel of the place will be strikingly different from the France-focused, somewhat more traditional dining experience at Waters’ beloved Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley.”
Needless to say, this impending opening will be a big moment for Los Angeles. We aren’t trained fortune tellers, but something tells us that you might see the restaurant included on our Most Exciting Dinner Spots In LA guide soon enough.