Com­ing to My Senses

The Week (US) - - 22 Arts - By Alice Wa­ters (Clark­son Pot­ter, $27)

Con­sider this mem­oir a pre­quel, said Pete Wells in The New York Times. Be­fore Alice Wa­ters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 and changed Amer­i­can din­ing for­ever, she was a girl from New Jersey who had to learn what to want, in the kitchen and out­side it. Writ­ing about a year in Paris and 1967 San Fran­cisco, she “de­scribes these dis­cov­er­ies with the in­tense speci­ficity we all give our life-chang­ing first en­coun­ters.” She had no plan to launch a rev­o­lu­tion; “be­fore she had an ide­ol­ogy, she had de­sires.”

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