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Memphian McNamee Writes the Book on Alice Waters and Chez Panisse



Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, native Memphian Thomas McNamee's book about Waters and the famed Berkeley, California, eatery she opened in 1971, is brand-new from Penguin, but it's already stirring up heat.

Is it or is it not a probing look at what the book's subtitle calls "the romantic, impractical, often eccentric, ultimately brilliant making of a food revolution"? Or is it, according to one Bay Area reporter, a book "content with surface narrative" -- in other words, the very book the reserved Waters would wish? Or is it, in the words of Entertainment Weekly, "amusing" but not the "last dish on Waters"?

Let the reviewers have their say, but can we officially retire the word "dish" from any and all future references to hot restaurant tell-alls? Get your own copy at local bookstores or online.

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