He was on CBS with Bourdain this AM. It will be interesting to see the SF Bay Area media responses. (I never ate at Stars despite living a few blocks away as I was a “well-fed starving student.”)
Good lord there’s some revisionist bullshit in there.
Their complicated relationship blew up when Waters published her book, The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook.
Per Thomas MacNamee’s “Alice Waters and Chez Panisse,” their relationship was tense by 1976, when Tower left. He filled in while she was gone for a few months in 1978, and then was gone for good. The book didn’t come out until 1982, by which time he was chef of Santa Fe Bar & Grill, which he co-owned with the partners who backed him at Stars.
Tower alleges in the film that she took all the credit for the menus, which he claims to have solely developed.
To quote the introduction to the “Memorable Menus” section, in its entirety:
The following menus are highlights of the last ten years at Chez Panisse and illustrate the range of menu ideas inspired by our many friends. I have tried to explain something about each menu as I recall it—the problems we encountered and the successes we achieved in the kitchen and in the dining room.
Many of these menus were conceived and executed by Jeremiah Tower, who was the chef at the restaurant during its formative years. He developed the idea idea of regional dinners celebrating the food of provincial France (Brittany, Périgord, Champagne, Burgundy, Alsace, etc.), Morocco, Louisiana, and, ultimately, our own region of Northern California; his innovative and adventurous menus gave the restaurant its reputation for ambitious experimentation and exploration.
She gives him credit at other points, most notably in her comments on the “Northern California Regional Dinner” menu:
This regional dinner, conceived and prepared by Jeremiah Tower, marked a turning point in the restaurant’s focus. This was the first time that we made a really concerted effort to serve the ingredients available to us here in the Northern California area, and it truly set a precedent which has been followed since then. …
I personally cant wait to see the movie! His book ‘jeremiah tower cooks’ is one of my favorites
Did he invent the Internet too?
If not, then I can’t be bothered.