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The Art and Letterpress Of Patricia Curtan
By Patricia Curtan, with a foreword by Alice Waters
11 x 9-1/2 in; 184 pp; Hardcover
July 2011 ISBN 9781616890292 ISBN10 1616890290
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Chez Panisse, a small restaurant in Berkeley, California, opened its doors in the summer of 1971. For forty years, the restaurant and its founder, legendary chef Alice Waters, has had a profound influence on food, farming, cooking, and dining around the world. In the beginning, Waters saw the beauty and aesthetic of fine printing as a way to communicate—at the outset of the diners' experience—the care and attention given to the preparation of their dinner. Berkeley-based artist Patricia Curtan began hand printing menus for the restaurant during its early years, while employed as a cook in the Chez Panisse kitchen. Curtan's menus, works of art in their own right, capture the unique spirit of the famous restaurant with letterpress and linoleum-block prints on beautiful paper. In Menus for Chez Panisse, Curtan presents four decades of menus—including dinners for special guests such as Julia Child, Hillary Clinton, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and James Beard—with notes about the menus, the artwork, the occasions, and, of course, the food.
Patricia Curtan is an artist and designer living in Berkeley, California. She works in the medium of linoleum block printing, making images primarily of plants, particularly edible plants. Most recently, two print suites, one of fruit and one of vegetables, were produced in limited editions and reproduced as illustrations in Chez Panisse Fruit (2002), and Chez Panisse Vegetables (1996) by Alice Waters, published by HarperCollins. Patricia was also the designer and typographer for both books, and has a long association with Chez Panisse Restaurant as cook, cookbook co-author, designer and printer. Other work includes letterpress menus, notecards and broadsides, logo and identity design, and artwork for labels and product packaging.
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