In a short video interview posted this week, Chez Panisse proprietor Alice Waters discusses the wide range of changes introduced in the famed 42-year-old restaurant as part of the renovation following this spring's fire and temporary closure.
The changes at Berkeley's renowned Chez Panisse restaurant since the March 8 fire are far more extensive than a new front of the building to replace the porch and dining area damaged in the blaze.
The restaurant's founder, Alice Waters, describes what's new in the accompanying video, published earlier this week on Potluck Video.
One difference that can be immediately seen is the redesigned seating, with more benches and corner spaces, intended to give diners a "very private" experience, Waters said in the interview with Ali Rosen.
The dining room in 42-year-old Bay Area institution has taken on a more "elegant" look with several touches, including a new ceiling as well as new lamps by a metal artist, Waters said.
A handicapped access ramp has been added, as have been a fresh look to the menu and a new bus station in the kitchen, she said.
"It just feels like we're sort of starting again in a way," Waters said. "There's that kind of excitement about it."
Waters, sometimes described as the doyenne of "California Cuisine," has been a leading advocate for fresh, organic, locally sourced food. She led the establishment of The Edible Schoolyardat Berkeley’s King Middle School, a garden-kitchen curriculum program that has become an influential model for other schools.