Alice Waters' new LA restaurant, Lulu, will open at UCLA Hammer Museum in November
Quince, persimmons, pears. They’ll all be on the menu at the first LA restaurant from global foodie icon Alice Waters, presuming they’re grown locally and in season. That’s been the concept for Waters' pioneering Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse, and it will be the guiding principle at Lulu, opening at the UCLA Hammer Museum in early November.
“If you want to have ripe food, you have to eat seasonally,” Waters told Spectrum News 1 during an interview in her home garden in Northern California. “That means if you want to have tomatoes, you only have tomatoes for maybe two months or two months and a half. And when they’re over, they’re over. We go onto the next vegetable or fruit. For me, this is a beautiful, natural way to eat.”
Lulu takes its name from Lulu Peyraud, whom Waters considers a mentor. The proprietress of the Domaine Tempier winery in Southern France was renowned for her estate’s rose wines, as well as Provencal cooking.
“It’s been very important, not just for the grapes and the wine, but because Lulu created her own way of cooking that was all about what was fresh and alive that day,” Waters said. “But she has been an inspiration to many, many chefs who have visited there, and her generosity of spirit is certainly something that we want to express at the restaurant at the Hammer.”
It was in France that Waters first frequented farmers markets that only sold what was in season, an idea she imported to the U.S. when she opened Chez Panisse in 1971. That same sensibility — and freshness — will be on the menu at Lulu, albeit with a So Cal twist. What’s served will be sourced from the farmers markets in Santa Monica and Hollywood. — Susan Carpenter, Spectrum News 1, Oct. 21, 2021