The Gourmet Galaxy of Stars
CHEZ PANISSE RESTAURANT
Alice Waters and Paul Aratow helped launch what came to be known as California Cuisine at Chez Panisse, above, when they opened their restaurant in 1971. Their approach, using the freshest possible ingredients from local suppliers, set the tone for the farm-to-table movement that would follow.
The results are in
and it’s official: the Bay Area of the Golden State has finally bested New York for the greatest number of Michelin three-starred restaurants, with seven now, compared to six in New York City and three in Chicago. For those who have made Star-bagging an official bucket list thing, this makes California an even more compelling destination for haute cuisine.
While LA has long been known for its wide variety of exquisite and diverse restaurants, San Francisco boasts more restaurants per capita than any other U.S. city. It comes as no surprise that of the 166 Michelin starred restaurants nationwide for 2018, a full third of them are San Francisco establishments.
Old standards that have been around for decades, like Tadich Grill, established in 1849 and the oldest in California, along with Sam’s Grill, est. 1867, still hold their own against innovative newcomers. SF’S Mission district has become a foodie haven and surrounding communities from Berkeley to Palo Alto to Napa and Sonoma all bring fine food to the table.
Like everything else in California from politics to entertainment, food is a celebrity-driven business, to wit, SOMA darling International Smoke, a collaboration between Michael Mina and Ayesha Curry (wife of NBA superstar Steph). But star power inspires, and many have followed the lead of garden-to-table pioneer Alice Waters.
As the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement that took the country by storm, the culinary scene here is a mix of where to