Food & Drink

My Last Meal: You are what you eat— New York


Food is an entire philosophy for Alice Waters, founder of restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She would choose to dine with family for her hypothetical last meal, and on the menu would be fresh produce bought from the nearest local farmers’ market.

Alice Waters, Berkeley, California, Chez Panisse, Union Square farmers’ market

“The real roots of my love of food come from the vegetable garden that my parents had during the Second World War. They had a victory garden. I remember being sat out there in the strawberry patch, eating the berries warm off the plant. I was a very picky eater as a kid. I liked beans, corn and tomatoes. And I probably liked all of those things because they came right out of our garden. I could see myself wanting to cook my last meal, feeling the ritual of it and wanting to be present in that way. But, there’s nothing like eating food cooked by…


Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, 40 years ago and it has inspired restaurants around the world to use only local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant serves an extensive tasting menu and the café offers a variety of à la carte options, depending on what’s available at the market. In 1995, Waters opened the Edible Schoolyard, a vegetable garden in a nearby school that serves as a model for inspiring change in the American public school system’s lunch programme.


For her last meal, Alice Waters would shop for ingredients at the local farmers’ market and cook at home. In this case, Monocle went to Union Square farmers’ market and ate in her close friend’s apartment a few blocks away. The market has been running since 1976. Union Square, Broadway and East 17th Street, New York, + 1 212 788 7900


Salad: Local spring greens with ‘new’ garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette
Soup: Green garlic soup, with homemade chicken stock and toasted whole- wheat sourdough bread
Main: Asparagus drizzled with olive oil and served with boiled, freshly laid hen’s eggs
Dessert: Strawberries from Bodhitree farm


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