For chef and activist Alice Waters, an open fire, handmade spoons and commemorative glasses are the perfect treasures
I live in north Berkeley, California about a mile from Chez Panisse. I’ve been here for 34 years, just about the same age as my daughter Fanny. I remodelled it immediately – it had a small kitchen with a tiny back porch. The house was built in 1908 and it had such a great feel to it – I didn’t want to change the character of it but we took down the porch, opened up the kitchen and put the fireplace in, which you see here , and made a double door that goes out to the garden, windows across the back, and then I kept the same cabinets, with the glass doors so I could see everything easily. I put the stove in.
I wanted it to be a bread oven and I had great fantasies of making bread every day, but in the end we get such good bread from the Acme bread company that I just never find the time. I do use the fireplace constantly though – every time I’m home and having dinner, the fire is lit and I’m cooking something on it, from toast to grilled chicken or fish. I even have a spit that goes in there so I can make a spit-roast turkey for Thanksgiving.