Friday, February 5, 2010

Nepenthe More Then Just A Restaurant

Marilyn Alexander Stoddard

Romney Steele is the granddaughter of Bill and Lolly Fassett who started the Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur 60 years ago. She grew up surrounded by family; brother, mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Nepenthe tells the story of her family, restaurant, and the special place it has become. The book is decorated with a generous amount of photography that visually tells the tales of this famous California restaurant. Especially of the late 50's through the 70's where the restaurant was a haven for writers, artists, counterculture types, and stars of the Silver Screen. Some of the early notables, included Henry Miller, Man Ray, and Jack Keroac. In 1964 a film “The Sandpiper” was filmed in the area, featuring Nepenthe in a few scenes. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, stars of the film, ate at Nepenthe daily during production. During the 60’s and 70’s the restaurant attracted people from alternative creative lifestyles such as: the Human Potential Movement society, folk music bands, hippies, and New Age enthusiasts. A number of musicians from the Monterey Pop Festival even found there way to this treasure of Big Sur. With Nepenthe's view of the ocean and wide terrace for dancing it plays to original vision of the founders which is the experience is what matters most. “What happen at Nepenthe was in the epiphanous stage. The musicians were performing and staging the music of their lives in the full range of that potential. Things happened that were really transcendent. Magic happened, at times, through the music.” Said Giff Fassett son of Bill and Lolly. This colorful book gives you a glimpse of how it must have been like during those days and the family behind the restaurant. The experience begins with gathering around a table to share food. The writing is interspersed with recipes. (There are a number of recipes I want to try, including Pumpkin Spice Cake and Chicken Tortilla Soup that starts with a whole chicken in a pot.)

1 comment:

TG said...

I love to read your blog..So nice!
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