But start a revolution she did. One meal at a time. Cooking up the best food possible using local and organic foods. In her small restaurant, with many mishaps along the way, but always managing to overcome them as her passion for quality food moved her forward.
This book is a great read. It taught me more about what is required to run a successful restaurant than any of the restaurant classes I took in college. The main ingredient not talked about in those classes: passion. It is the single biggest thing needed to have the energy to run a restaurant and I saw it in action in this book. Passion will take you over the biggest hurdles but it comes at a big price. Sacrifices of time and relationships with others. This message comes out loud and clear and I found the obstacles Alice faced amazing and I found myself cheering her on as I moved through this book.
Thomas McNamee does a fantastic job covering the period of time in the history of Chez Panisee- from its opening in 1971 until 2006- and tells the story in such a way that makes it impossible to put down. He gives personal accounts from the staff of Chez Panisee and their candid accounts of what it was like to work with Alice. He talks of the early disorganization of the restaurant which makes one wonder how it came to be the premiere restaurant it is today.
Passion, drive, determination, vision. For anyone interested in the Farm to Table movement, this is a read well worth your time.