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Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child's Restaurant Adventures with 46 Recipes Paperback – September 6, 1997


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Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child's Restaurant Adventures with 46 Recipes + Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up + Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; Reprint edition (September 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928681
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Chez Panisse, a restaurant in Berkeley, is the brainchild of renowned chef Alice Waters. Fanny is Alice Waters's daughter and Fanny at Chez Panisse is a collection of 46 recipes that are simple, delicious, and fun to make. The first third of the book tells the story of Fanny's adventures at Chez Panisse and introduces many of the people who work and dine there. There is Bumps, a family friend who lives on a boat and makes special bread; Carrie, the florist who supplies Chez Panisse with its bouquets; and Jean, a customer who prefers to eat in the kitchen rather than the restaurant because "That's where the food and my favorite people are." Through Fanny's eyes, the reader glimpses the inner workings of a quirky, wonderful restaurant and the people who run it. (Fanny says she's not sure who runs Chez Panisse--"I think Chez Panisse runs Chez Panisse.")

The rest of the book is taken up with Fanny's favorite recipes divided into sections such as "Carrots, Cucumbers, and Bell Peppers," "Corn," "Garlic," "Fruit," and more. Recipes range from raita to Peach Crisp and Roast Chicken with Herbs, and are easy to follow with some adult supervision. Though Fanny at Chez Panisse is primarily aimed at children, the recipes in it are delicious enough for adults to enjoy as well. And remember, the family that cooks together has a really great meal to show for all that togetherness!

From Publishers Weekly

Fanny is none other than the seven-year-old daughter of Waters, lending her voice here to tell the story of a child's life--her own--at Chez Panisse, her mother's celebrated restaurant in Berkeley, Calif. This device does not quite work; the writing is arch and flat by turns. It's hard to believe, for example, that even the most ingenuous nymph would let slip, "Chez Panisse means 'Panisse's house' in French. Fanny just means Fanny. My mom got both our names from an old French movie. . . . The movies always make my mom laugh and cry. I can make my mom laugh and cry, too, but it's not quite the same."4 The book contains 46 recipes, all Fanny's: "Some of them I learned from my mom and my friends and . . . others I've just made up." A few are simplistic, like lettuce salad: "I like salad with lots of different kinds of lettuce. . . . Choose lettuce carefully. Small lettuces are more tender than large overgrown ones. Fresh lettuce looks like it's still growing." Garlic mayonnaise seems too complicated for the skills and attention of young children such as Fanny, who would have to add oil to egg yolk " drop by drop " and later thin the mixture with several additions of half-teaspoons of warm water.74 The many line drawings are airy and charming.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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My 4.5 year old girl and 8 year old boy love this book.
Francesca Levaggi
This book lets them know how food work, how it gets to the table, and how wonderful it is to enjoy when it gets there.
K. Driskell
I would recommend this cookbook for any young cook and their parent.
Linda B. Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
Alice writes in the voice of her daughter about her daughter's favorite recipes and adventures at the restaurant. Wonderful reading and DELICIOUS recipes. At first looks a little like a children's book, but great for adults!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this many years ago, in college, and coming back to it now, to share with my daughter, I find that this book inadvertently taught me a lot about cooking. My daughter - age 6 - is mildly interested in the story, but it is very long and wordy. It tells all about the kitchen of a gourmet restaurant, from an insider's (and child's) perspective. However, it is probably a bit much for a young child with no gourmet experience. Older children and adults may enjoy it more.

As for the recipes, they are great. The step by step explanations of what to do (the egg whites should be whipped until they are white, and you can get a soft crest when you lift the mixer) are invaluable if you are a novice. Still, it's all a bit complicated for young children. I'd say the recipes are probably good for a 10-year-olds with some help. My favorite at the moment is the recipe (and step-by-step instructions) for a 1234 cake - which I am making for a birthday party. I'd never have attempted it without this book and its detailed instructions. I am hoping the cake is as good as the batter - YUM!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ann S. Nordquist on March 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is written as Fanny telling about her life with her mom, the fantastic chef Alice Waters(she wrote the book). MyDaughters & I share in our love of this book, to read it...enjoying the pictures which are wonderful to the eye. then the bits on cooking and the pleasure of food & preparing it along with flavor is shared in such a great way. Allow yourself to sit down and get lost in the spirit of this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By a gentle sound on June 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I listened via NPR to the delish harvesting of the White House Garden yesterday driving home. I love the idea that the First Lady was able to share, with kids assisting her, the beauty of sweet fresh peas in the pod. It was fun listening to them eating up those pods just out of the garden. Their WH effort has already brought in 90 pounds of harvest! That's incredible. And I can remember from my childhood all the math, all the lessons learned in this kind of activity. Mom canning, Dad with bushels of produce. Long ago and far away it was but it certainly makes me happy at a Farmer's Market or strolling in a French one selecting dinner goods. And here it is just June as they bring this stuff in. Tomatoes to come!
Well that made me think of this book. (One of our family favorites that I ought to buy for each of my kids. All three are cooks and good ones.) It's one book my children and I enjoyed because it lead us into the kitchen, and prompted us to get many others of Alice Waters and as we visited Stanford long ago for my daughter's pre-surgery visits ( major reconstruction of chest at 6) we always had time to enjoy food Water's style.
Yes, there is "a lot" of story and good thing too. That's another "value" we are passing along to children. That food tells about who we are.
It's one of the best living histories I know.A window into everything in a culture without the angers that so many other areas contain. A way to share ourselves.

Just growing and preparing with what you have harvested, be it spices in a window or lovely baby bib, carrots, tomatoes in a pot on the porch or digging and growing you are learning about the art of food and self care.This book is so insightful. Nutrition and values that keep our connection to nature.
This is an EXCELLENT present for kids.
Read more ›
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Driskell on July 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful, accessible cookbook that is a delight to read as well as cook from. This is the case for myself and for my daughter. It introduces whole foods, recipes that are fresh from the garden, recipes that are delightful to look at, smell, consider, and taste.

This is a wonderful contrast to most of the cooking for/with kids cookbooks out there. There is no open-this-can, open-that-can mix-it-together-and-call-it-food. There's no horrifyingly sugar-laden, preservative-laden, artifically-colored, -textured, -flavored anything. There's no start-with-something-healthy-and-then-tart-it-up-because-we-don't-think-kids-will-eat-food-unless-it-is-formed-like-a-smiley-face.

This book assumes your child (and you) is not an idiot. It doesn't talk down, it doesn't try to sneak healthy food under their radar, it doesn't assume that they are screen-addled dolts with no awareness or affinity for the world around them.

This book knows that kids are interesting and interested creatures who notice and are fascinated by the world around them, and how things work. This book lets them know how food work, how it gets to the table, and how wonderful it is to enjoy when it gets there.

So. If that describes your son or daughter, this (or Marion Cunningham's book) is the one for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Randol on January 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't mean it Alice! Actually, yes I did! What I meant to say was I didn't mean it 'meanly'. Because like Thomas Aquinas and the Church, you know that if you get 'em while they're young, you got 'em for life! Good choices, good habits, good food ~ it just keeps on givin'.

I just bought this book twice in a week. The first was as a baby shower gift ~ the fifth such since it was published in '92 ~ and the second time for myself, realizing that while I had looked through, skimmed and admired it I had never owned or cooked from it.

Several years ago I remember running into the women I had given the first copy to as a Christmas present, her daughter was Fannies age at the time. She told me daughter had completely taken over the kitchen, relegating her husband and herself and the siblings to shopping prep and cleanup. Her brother refers to her as "Mothra" Stewart. All the kids not only eat but relish broccoli and Brussels sprouts and never balk at cleanup! I asked if she wanted help getting her "real" family back? Laughingly she screamed, "No!"

Outta' the skillets of babes! Go figure! [ASIN:0060928689 Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child's Restaurant Adventures with 46 Recipes]]
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