cover image Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child's Restaurant Adventure with 46 Recipes

Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child's Restaurant Adventure with 46 Recipes

Alice Waters. William Morrow Cookbooks, $23 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-06-016896-4

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. (Oct.)