Alice Waters Talks About Chez Panisse Fire (VIDEO)

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So sorry to hear about the fire at Chez Panisse early this morning. Listen to this moving interview from Alice Waters on the scene. My heart goes out to her and the entire Chez Panisse family.

Alice Waters at the scene of the Chez Panisse fire on 3/8/13
Alice Waters at the scene of the Chez Panisse fire on 3/8/13

Fire Rips Through Berkeley Icon - Chez Panisse (VIDEO) (

Chez Panisse, Berkeley Shrine to Innovative Cuisine, Closed by Fire (KQED NewsFix)

Fire damages Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley (VIDEO) (

Fire at Chez Panisse damages front of restaurant (Berkeleyside)


Fire Damages Chez Panisse (New York Times Diner's Journal)

Fire damages Berkeley's Chez Panisse (

Berkeley Fire Department at work on the scene of the Chez Panisse fire Friday morning at 8:45 a.m. (Berkeleyside)

Chez Panisse Facebook update (3/19/13):

Thank you to the many friends of Chez Panisse who have offered their incredible support and council since the fire at the restaurant on March 8th.

Kip Mesirow, the original artisan builder of the restaurant, has flown out from Vermont and is leading a team of talented woodworkers to rebuild both porches and redesign the façade of the building. We have learned from the builders that we have to remove both the top and bottom porches on the front of the building. This means there will be a more significant demolition project ahead of us than we had originally anticipated, as well as many structural repairs that affect both upstairs and down.

All the staff is pitching in to help with the cleanup—we are cleaning and repainting every inch and working to get Chez Panisse back open again as quickly as possible. The opening dates for both the café and the restaurant are still to be determined. We are calling everyone personally to cancel all existing reservations, and we will post new updates as we receive additional information about the progress of the reconstruction.

We are so grateful to the city of Berkeley and our whole community of friends, family, and longtime patrons for their ongoing patience and generosity.

Most gratefully yours,
Alice and the Chez Panisse family

Sign outside Chez Panisse 3/20/13. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Sign outside Chez Panisse 3/20/13. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Chez Panisse fire damage - photo taken 3/20/13. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Chez Panisse fire damage - photo taken 3/20/13. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Chez Panisse Facebook update (3/22/13):

To all the friends of Chez Panisse,

Thank you to all of you for your continued faith in Chez Panisse as we move forward into the next phase of rebuilding after the fire on March 8th.

The big question, of course, is: When will Chez Panisse reopen? Right now we are feeling confident that the first week of June is a realistic opening date for both café and restaurant. We had considered whether it would be possible to open the café earlier with construction still going on, but have decided to complete all construction work before opening. This will allow the builders unfettered access to the building without having to open the café on a daily basis—which would have slowed their work considerably. We are, of course, working as quickly as possible and may be able to open earlier; we will update as the rebuilding progresses.

We feel very fortunate to have such a passionate and motivated community behind us, and extend our thanks to the many individuals and businesses who have so generously offered their support in the cleanup and restoration process. We are all looking forward to reopening for the summer!

With all our gratitude,
Alice and the Chez Panisse family