Chez Panisse to throw a birthday party for 5,000

Invite to a feast for thousands. Photos: Chez Panisse Foundation.

Chez Panisse will be 40 years old this summer, and there are certain to be all sorts of food-related events to celebrate the anniversary. For example, there are whispers that Michael Pollan will be giving a series of lectures on food that is open to both students and the public.

Leah Garchik, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, reported today that the Chez Panisse sent out a holiday card telling friends to save Aug. 28 for a huge party for 5,000 at the Greek Theater. The shindig will benefit the Chez Panisse Foundation.

A quick peek at the foundation’s website revealed the invitation, shown above. “Join us for a procession, a concert, a film, a meal for 5,000 people at the Greek Theatre,” reads the card.

The size of the guest list suggests it will be a party for the people. Since it is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday, we couldn’t call the Chez Panisse offices for comment. But we have a few questions:


Where will Alice Waters get enough vine-ripened tomatoes to feed that crowd?

Will Country Joe McDonald, who has been in Berkeley longer than Chez Panisse, be one of the musicians featured in the concert?

Will Chez Panisse’s roving ambassador/movie star Jake Gyllenhall be there? And if it gets hot, will he take his shirt off?

Considering Waters’ ground-breaking work with the Edible Schoolyard and push towards eating more healthily, will First Lady/organic food advocate Michelle Obama be on the guest list?

Regardless, it sounds like a not-to-be-missed event.