Jane Fonda sees in the new year at Chez Panisse

Jane Fonda ate at Chez Panisse for the first time on December 31. With her are friends Jodie Evans and Scott Peacock and her partner Richard Perry (right). Photo: JaneFonda.com

“Orgasmically great” is how Jane Fonda describes the many dishes she sampled at Chez Panisse, after being invited by owner Alice Waters to join her there three days ago on new year’s eve.

Writing on her blog, JaneFonda.com, the Hollywood star/fitness guru/political activist, who celebrated her 73rd birthday last month, says she is a huge fan of Waters, (who, she adds, is becoming a friend), but that she had so far not been to the restaurant. “As we got out of the car and approached the entrance, my heart was racing,” she reports.

Fonda  was there with her partner, music producer Richard Perry, and friends Jodie Evans and Scott Peacock, former chef at Atlanta restaurant Watershed. The group ate a late lunch at the Berkeley restaurant (which appears to have included olives, deviled eggs, cauliflower and beet salad and nettle pizza), then went to watch the recently released Little Fockers movie (“laughed ourselves silly”) before returning to Chez Panisse to party and see in the new year.

Waters is seen in one of Fonda’s photographs with her “beau”, Greg.


Fonda is, of course, a Berkeley habituée. She lived in the Elmwood in the 1970s, and it is there she met her former husband, Tom Hayden — at a radical parent-participation nursery school in the south Berkeley neighborhood called Blue Fairyland, according to the Chronicle. Hayden, who became a state senator, was a founder of the Red Family commune, a group of idealistic New Leftists who lived on Bateman Street.

Fonda writes a heartfelt blog and clearly loved her short stay in Berkeley — she was back in Los Angeles on Saturday getting ready to start rehearsals for “33 Variations”, a play she starred in on Broadway two years ago and which opens at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre on January 30th.

“It was a perfect way to ring in what, I feel deeply, will be a good new year,” she concludes.

[Hat tip: Dave Winer.]