Okay, so now that the cat is officially out of the bag on the Chez Panisse 40th anniversary projects, I can talk about them here!
A Backyard Pig Roast on Saturday, August 27th: I am super, super stoked to be cooking with my friends Michael Pollan and Jack Hitt at Michael's and his wife Judith's house in North Berkeley. We threw a similar party last year and it was, well, pretty much the best party I've ever been to. This one will be even more awesome, with special breads from Chad Robertson and Liz Prueitt of Tartine Bakery, a performance of some sort by Jack (who is the most skillful storyteller I've ever met), some fiddle-playing prodigies, and textiles designed by quilting impresario Laverne Brackens and Christina Kim, and about fifty million kinds of pie and hand-cranked vanilla ice cream. I may or may not brew up a batch of sarsparilla for the soiree, too! If you've got an extra G burning a hole in your pocket, call Krissa at 510-843-3811 to get yourself a ticket!
For those of you without all of that extra cash weighing you down, I'm also spearheading Eating for Education, a two-pronged campaign to spread awareness about Edible Education and school gardens nationally. We're rallying up farm-to-table restaurants across the country to partner up with school gardens and youth garden projects in their communities. Participating restaurants will spread the word about their local gardens and commit to contributing a percentage of proceeds on Saturday, August 27th to help support the programs. If you are involved with either a restaurant or a school garden and would like to participate, please email me at samin (at) eatingforeducation (dot) org.
Finally, if you're just not interested in eating out at all, then host a dinner of your own! What I'm really hoping for is to get families in the kitchen with their kids, so we'll be offering all sorts of resources, recipes and tips over on the website all summer long to get kids in the kitchen to help make dinner on August 27th.
Ten years ago, the thirtieth anniversary of the restaurant blew my mind. It was the best day of my life and made me feel like part of something really extraordinary--never in my wildest dreams could I have conjured up such a beautiful celebration involving so many special people-- from Edna Lewis to Dario Cecchini to every CP alumnus and alumna from across the globe. I can only hope that with Eating for Education, I can help bring as many people as possible into the realm of this fantastic restaurant that has stood for so much over the past forty years. I always say that the direction of my life changed in ways I could have never anticipated, hoped for, or even imagined when I first walked through those creaky wooden doors twelve years ago, and I know I'm far from the only person to have been changed by Lady A and her work.
All of the money raised over the course of these events will benefit the Edible Schoolyard, which over the course of the next several months will transition from just one school garden program in Berkeley to the hub of a national network of school gardens and youth garden projects, with free resources, training, and educational tools for anyone and everyone in the country working to make Edible Education a reality for every schoolchild. Pretty great, if you ask me.
For a complete listing of 40th anniversary events, including all of the other celebratory dinners, look here.