When I was coming up as a cook in the 1980s, I wanted to devour every morsel of culinary information I could. The chef I worked for in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the time often cited Chez Panisse, a restaurant in California I'd never heard of, as inspiration. During a slow service one night, I was sitting on an upturned plastic milk crate, poring over the kitchen's copy of the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, when a Harvard-educated busboy walked by and asked me what I was reading. When I showed him, he snickered: "I've never seen anyone read the introduction to a cookbook before!" I was in fact reading the section called "What I Believe About Cooking," in which Alice discusses the effect of industrialization on how we interact with food, and the importance of using all our senses when we cook. Enthralled, I read the book over and over and cooked from it at home, then did the same with Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza & Calzone and Chez Panisse Cooking.