Berkeley, California’s “gourmet ghetto” was a major influence in the transformation of the American table. There, out of the counterculture, a community emerged that was committed to finding and making good food. Their search led them to fresh, local, seasonal, and artisanal foods.
Alice Waters and the restaurant she founded, Chez Panisse, were part of this extended community that cooked, baked bread, made cheese, raised goats and poultry, farmed vegetables, and foraged for wild foods. The Bay area’s pioneering reinvention of local food was coupled with its renewed interest in importing items such as quality coffee and olive oils. These trends reverberated elsewhere, changing the types of food available to Americans throughout the country.