i got to go to the chez panisse party this past weekend, and it was lovely. it was held at foreign cinema, where i've never before been--the food was alright, and of course the pagnol films were playing overhead on the wall. mostly, though, it was wonderful to see all of the special people i never get to see anymore. oh, and the babies. there were so many babies. i've always thought that the chez panisse children are the most beautiful kids in the world (and healthiest!).

since it was a goodbye party for several people who've worked there for many, many years, practically everyone from over the years was there. i worried that i wouldn't know many people at the party, since there's been such great turnover since i left for italy, but pretty much everyone i hoped to see was there.

i'll always be indescribably grateful for my opportunities and experiences at chez panisse, and spending that evening with everyone just served to highlight that feeling for me.

the goodbye gifts for the retirees were pretty amazing, but by far, the best was the red kelly bag alice gave leeann, the parting floor manager. it was so dramatic, in the orange box and everything.