Bill's Quiet Revolution

Item # 157493.

Bill's Quiet Revolution--A Japanese American Artisan of California Cuisine

This graphic novel tells the story of a Japanese American food retailer who played a pivotal role in the development of 1970s California cuisine. Through his influence on California cuisine, he has changed how Americans eat.  The book reveals the history of Japanese American farming in California and its importance in American food and agriculture. Today, Americans are more aware than ever of their food choices—where the food comes from, its locality, how it was produced, and its health quotient. But back in the 1970s, local food movements were largely nonexistent. It was the Japanese Americans living in California who began advocating for local, organic farming—and despite systemic racism, were able to make America better.

The pivotal food retailer is Berkeley-based Bill Fujimoto, the first person to source produce for Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse when it opened. Over time, the Bay Area chefs who were a part of igniting California cuisine all went to Bill’s shop to buy their produce. He created a community of chefs, local farmers, and eaters who cared about seasonality, taste, and unconventional produce. He inspired and allowed California cuisine chefs in the Bay area to carry out their philosophies of fresh, local produce.

Bill takes a real artisan approach to his craft, places quality over quantity, has a passion and commitment to organic healthy produce, tireless work ethic, and a humility that will not allow him to acknowledge his contributions to the California food revolution.  By sharing his story, it is hoped that others will afford him the acknowledgment he deserves.

Paper: 96 pp.


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