6 Amazing Alice Waters Cookbooks To Try Today

6 Amazing Alice Waters Cookbooks To Try Today

As a result of her success in promoting the use of healthy, organic, and locally sourced ingredients, Alice Waters has also written a number of cookbooks throughout her years in the industry, which means that you too can discover the secrets behind cooking great food with fresh ingredients.

These books are an absolute must-add for the collections of any chef out there, so why not celebrate one of the industry’s most innovative women today!

Best Alice Waters Cookbooks 

Alice Waters’ cookbooks are works that reflect her incredible passion for flavorful and wholesome food, as well as the social and environmental causes that she believes in.

This guide will point you in the direction of some of her most amazing cookbooks, so that you can try to recreate her recipes for yourself at home.


Based on her experience as a restauranter, Vegetables is a cookbook that focuses on making the most of fresh vegetables as and when they are in season.

Her restaurant, Chez Panisse focuses on serving simple yet effective dishes that change depending on the season.

Waters was struggling to find good quality ingredients, so she began scouring for farmers who she could buy vegetables from.

Nowadays, fresh and organic vegetables are much more widely available, meaning that you can easily recreate some of the incredibly delicious recipes found in her first cookbook.

From grilled radicchio with balsamic vinegar, to artichoke and grapefruit salad drizzled in extra virgin olive oil.

Whether you’re a vegetarian, cook, or gardener, you’ll appreciate just how delicious these recipes are, and how effective they can be at using up your in-season vegetables!


  • Easy to use recipe book that is concise and clear
  • Makes the most of in-season vegetables
  • Provides a guide on when certain vegetables are in-season
  • Excellent for those who are stuck on what to use vegetables for
  • Recipes for every occasion


  • Might be slightly too simple for avid chefs 


The initial success of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse restaurant soon spawned the opening of the Chez Panisse Café, a busy bistro setting where guests wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of having to book a spot, and can choose from the ever-changing menu.

A lot of the dishes in the café were slightly more impromptu and improvised than the ones found in the more formal setting of the restaurant.

Nevertheless, the recipes in the café were adored by those who had eaten there, which is exactly why Waters released this cookbook, based upon over 140 of the recipes that have been used in the café.

From morel mushroom toasts, to spicy broccoli raab and garlicky kale, some of the café’s most beloved dishes can be found within this book, so if you’re looking to create some of the Chez Panisse magic in your own kitchen, then this cookbook is an absolute must.


  • Cookbook is informative and helpful
  • Recipes are easy to understand
  • Divided into clear sections
  • Plenty of narration surrounding each recipe
  • Aesthetically pleasing


  • Lack of photographs of the dishes themselves


After 30 years, Waters’ Chez Panisse was named the number one restaurant by Gourmet magazine, and while people’s love for her cooking and ideals had grown massively in that time, so had Waters’ commitment and passion for creating delicious dishes using local organic ingredients.

Fruit is something of a sequel to her previous cookbook Vegetables, and aims to help people to create simple yet delicious dishes using vibrant and ripe fruit that they can get close to their homes.

This cookbook contains over 200 different recipes, so will be sure to contain something for everybody.

From peach and raspberry gratin, to stuffed pork loin with wild plums, this cookbook is going to be one you come back to time and time again in the hunt for fresh inspiration for the fruit in your home.


  • Great for providing inspiration for fruits
  • Teaches you to cook based on what you already have
  • Plenty of sweet recipes
  • Simple and easy to understand recipes
  • Well written


  • Not all recipes are vegetarian 


Many people consider Alice Waters’ work as a pioneer in the way we look at fresh produce and ingredients to be instrumental in the way we cook food, and on the back of this ethos, The Art Of Simple Food is not only a cookbook brimming with simple yet delicious recipes that make the most of what you have available, but also a full-on guide on how to master simple food.

Including a guide to properly stocking your kitchen, fundamental cooking techniques, and balancing the color, texture, and flavor of your meals properly, this cookbook serves as a great reminder that sometimes the best dishes you can make are the simplest ones available.

For those who are new to cooking for themselves, then this book is definitely worth adding to your collection, and will provide you with all of the advice you need to find your feet in the kitchen.

This cookbook contains over 200 recipes for various different meal times and purposes, making it a versatile cookbook for anyone to use.


  • Enjoyable read for food lovers
  • Filled with great recipes
  • More than just your basic cookbook
  • Embodies everything Waters stands for
  • Great for cooks of all skill levels


  • Lacks photos
  • Ingredients such as saffron can be rather expensive in today’s market


For those of you who have grown fruit and vegetables in your own garden will know, there is almost no better feeling than seeing your own produce grow from a seedling, all the way to end up on your plate in the form of a delicious meal.

Alice Waters was a huge pioneer in the movement of growing your own food and for the use of organic and fresh vegetables and fruit in home cooking, which is why this cookbook is yet another worthy addition to any collection.

This cookbook doesn’t just tell you how to cook your vegetables, but it also helps to demonstrate how to grow your fruit and vegetables properly, and even provides plenty of advice for people who have never grown their own produce before.

Of course, if you don’t own your own garden, then a local farmer’s market is always recommended, and in no time you’ll be enjoying some delicious and fresh dishes that will make your cooking wholesome and fulfilling.


  • Great for those new to growing own produce
  • Useful for even professional chefs
  • Filled with great advice
  • Well written
  • Quintessential Alice Waters


  • No photos
  • Lacks variety in recipes


Beyond her experience as owner of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters delves into the confines of her personal pantry, and explains to readers the methodology behind the way she shops and stocks up her cupboards, in what some describe as her most personal cook book yet.

Designed to inspire and revolutionize the way you think about your pantry, Alice is aiming to help readers to inject their simple dishes with even more complex flavors through the use of homemade ingredients.

Alongside her advice are illustrations done by her daughter, Fanny, which makes the book pleasing to the eye, as well as insightful.


  • Look into the more personal side of Alice Waters’ cooking
  • Allows new chefs to reevaluate the way they see their pantry
  • Some great recipes throughout
  • Beautifully written
  • Nice illustrations


  • Small amount of recipes compared to other cookbooks
  • Unsuitable for those looking for simple everyday recipes

Best Alice Waters Cookbooks Buyer's Guide

Alice Waters has authored a number of different cookbooks over her years in the industry, which can make it difficult to know which one to go for, so we’ve included this buyer’s guide to help you out!


The first thing to consider is the purpose of the cookbook. Are you interested in the food you would expect to find in the Chez Panisse café or restaurant?

Or are you looking to learn more about how to use fruits or vegetables? This should help to determine which cookbook you buy.

Skill Level

Skill level is important, while many of her recipes are more than suitable for beginners, some will go beyond what the day-to-day cook will be making for their families.


The final consideration is what ingredients you keep around your home, if you’re someone who stocks up on plenty of vegetables, then you’re going to want to pick up a copy of Vegetables, as opposed to Fruit.

Final Thoughts

Alice Waters has been a long-standing pioneer in an industry not only dominated by men, but one that has tried to shift the way we see food entirely, so her resilience and determination despite this is something that should definitely be celebrated.

And her recipes are incredible too!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chez Panisse Worth Visiting?

For many foodies, yes, Chez Panisse is a unique dining experience that many consider worth visiting.


No Spam, just delicious recipes, cooking tips and quality kit for your kitchen!

Barbara Hunt


No Spam, just delicious recipes, cooking tips and quality kit for your kitchen!

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