Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook

Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook

The long-awaited memoir from cultural icon and culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of what is arguably America's most influential restaurant.

When Alice Waters opened the doors of her "little French restaurant" in Berkeley, California in 1971 at the age of 27, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape—Alice least of all. Fueled in equal parts by naiveté and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers.
In Coming to My Senses Alice retraces the events that led her to 1517 Shattuck Avenue and the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity. Moving from a repressive suburban upbringing to Berkeley in 1964 at the height of the Free Speech Movement and campus unrest, she was drawn into a bohemian circle of charismatic figures whose views on design, politics, film, and food would ultimately inform the unique culture on which Chez Panisse was founded.
Dotted with stories, recipes, photographs, and letters, Coming to My Senses is at once deeply personal and modestly understated, a quietly revealing look at one woman's evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.

Title:Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780307718280
Format Type:

About Alice Waters

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school.


    Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook Reviews

  • Ally

    I desperately wanted to like this book. I'm a huge fan of Alice Waters, her restaurant Chez Panisse, and the work that she has done with transforming the food culture in American. When the author was ...

  • Brandon Gaukel

    I love this woman. This book is exactly what I want to read this week, I started it on a flight from Hawaii and just finished two days later. I swear by her cookbooks, she has changed my life and I go...

  • Gail

    I don't know why I even requested this book from the library. Generally, I'm interested in people who become chefs and what brought them to that vocation. Years ago, I read many books on fascinating c...

  • Melissa

    Very fascinating but it takes place from her birth to Chez Panisse opening in 1971 (some mentions take place past this time). But it doesn't cover the most interesting parts of her life: running a res...

  • Aria

    ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---- Sadly, I didn't get through the book. I did my best for 3 or 4 days, and finally conceded that I just wasn't going to make it. I'm ...

  • Brittany

    I realllyyyyy wanted this book to be good, because Alice is one of the most import Bay Area icons. The book left me constantly wanting to know more. She glosses over key moments in her life and doesn'...

  • Linda

    loved! Book ends at the opening of her cafe Chez Panisse. Participated in Free Speech Movement, Berkeley while she tried to make her cafe “perfect”. Lots of picture, very enjoyable....

  • Rebecca Wilkins

    Well it starts with the pitiful photo on the front and doesn't progress much beyond that. Alice is a remarkable woman especially if you watch the PBS special on American Masters but I didn't get it fr...

  • Jessica

    I love Alice Waters and was extremely excited about this book, enough so that I grabbed an ARC months before it came out. And then...it took me forever to finish it. Unfortunately, much of the book wa...

  • Lianne

    My book club has chosen this title for our June meeting. We plan to visit Chez Panisse, the famous restaurant Alice Waters founded in Berkeley in 1971. This memoir provides the back story of how Chez ...