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(#182) CHEZ PANISSE 28th The Chez Panisse Home Page:
Edition of 1835 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artists proofs; 1 is signed as a dedication copy, and three sets are signed as progressives.
July 28, 1999 16 x 24 12 colors
Client: Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94709 Telephone: (510) 548-5525
Dedication copy: Alice Louise Waters
1-125: Saint Hieronymus Press A-Z: Artists own use Progressives: One set to Alice Waters; one set to Lynn M. J. Gregory; one set to Saint Hieronymus Press
In 1968, our frequent dinner guest, Bob Novick, together with Marvin Garson, teamed up with others and founded the San Francisco Express Times, an alternative newspaper with a heavy slant toward anti-war and pro-drug reporting. I designed its masthead, and Alice and I were asked to do a weekly cooking column. Each Friday, I frantically designed, calligraphed and cut the linoleum block for the weeks offering, which was never late but always came close. We only infrequently got the ten dollars that we theoretically earned for each completed column. Although we started out with no particular idea in mind, after a short while the column evolved into a popular blend of Alices early efforts at expressing a culinary philosophy and mine at design. Soon we had enough recipes to consider putting out a cookbook. Although I carted it around to various prospects, even going to the extent of dragging the whole shebang to England, it waited until the Christmas season of 1970 to be published as the red-hot Berkeley bestseller, Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing.
The cookbook was not actually bound, since the recipes were all different sizes and shapes, but were instead gathered into a hand-made folder, made out of the leftover cover stock that I had used for An Introduction to the Elements of Calligraphy.
The first edition of five-hundred copies was printed on odds and ends of paper. I delivered it to Gene Optons Shattuck Avenue cooking supply store, The Kitchen, where at $7.50 each (actually rather a high price at the time) it sold out almost instantaneously. I took the money and bought more paper, and printed 2,500 copies, which again sold out so fast thatstill before Christmas--I recycled the money into an edition of 5,000, which I peddled to Berkeley bookstores, as well.
Using the proceeds from cookbook sales, in late December I bought out the printing office where I had learned my trade. Together with others of her friends, Alice took over a house on Shattuck Avenue, near the Co-op, and on August 28, 1971, opened Chez Panisse.
In 1978, after Thirty Recipes had been continuously in print for eight years, Alice felt that the clunky recipes were a disgrace and we ceased production. In 1981, she asked me to design the restaurants first cookbook, the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, which is still in print.
Thirty-one years after our cooking column first graced the pages of the San Francisco Express Times, Alice and I have again teamed up and together produced the illustrated Chez Panisse Café Cookbook. Plus ça change, plus cést la même chose.