Behold Alice Waters’s Garlic Hat

... and those would be carrots underneath.
... and those would be carrots underneath. Photo: Grub Street

The great Ms. Waters popped across the Bay on Saturday for the Food & Farm Film Fest at the Roxie, specifically to introduce a screening of the 1980 Les Blank documentary Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers, in which she and Chez Panisse were featured. Alice says she’s as much a lover of garlic as she was back then, and she showed up for the screening with a garlic-topped hat, and a bouquet of fresh garlic from the farmers’ market. The film was shot between 1977 and 1979 around the Bay Area, and was inspired by the Bastille Day garlic festival they did at Chez Panisse every July, and it showed several scenes of her doing actual cooking, in the restaurant kitchen. Her only regret about the film, as she told the audience, was that Blank pressured her to pull a pastry-wrapped chicken out of the oven too early, so he could film it, and, “It looks terribly underdone on film, and it was. But I assure you I knew it was underdone, and we didn’t serve it like that.” [Grub Street]