Culinary Arts

A Market Fresh Dinner: Finish and Serve

Alice Waters

Lesson time 15:30 min

Finish preparing Alice’s dinner party menu with a last-minute burst of cooking over the fire or stovetop. Then learn how to plate and serve each course.

Alice Waters
Teaches The Art of Home Cooking
In 16+ lessons, learn to cook beautiful, seasonal meals at home from the James Beard Award-winning founder of Chez Panisse.
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Now, I'm preparing you for the guest to come. This is the last moment of cooking, which of course you can always do with your family or friends helping. Cooking over a fire is where I feel most at home. I know it can be intimidating, but learning how to build a fire and use it, not just grill but to truly cook is exciting. And it gives food an irresistible taste. After the fire matures, the flames die down, and you're left with hot coals to pull forward and cook over. - We're just at that moment before dinner when I'm ready to cook the chicken. The fire is very hot and coals not too hot. I had a friend who gave me a little basket of the most beautiful, the most beautiful chanterelles, and I feel like I should cook them on the grill as well. So I have one for testing right on there now. And I'm going to put the chicken breasts skin down right there on to cook. And I think the way to get the skin really crispy is to keep it most of the time on the skin side and then to turn it over for the last third of cooking. Now one has to be a little patient and not to touch it until it gets a little crispy, but I'm always wanting to see if it's getting too crispy and whether I need to move the fire around. So I'm just going to take a little peek here. It looks good. WOMAN (VOICEOVER): As much as I love cooking over the fire, I don't expect everyone to have access to a fire. You can just easily do this meal on the stove in cast iron pans. I'll tell you how to do that in the workbook. - I'm going to put a little olive oil on the potatoes that I parboiled and a little salt. And I'm going to put them just flat side down on the grill. Just all around. The really hot part of the fire is to the back. If anything needs a little extra color on it, I'll move it up there. I'm always sort of moving things around on the grill. I want it to have a very even color from one side to the other. So I'm just moving it around a little bit. See already it's getting some color. I can tell the fire is very hot because I'm having a hard time turning my potatoes. But this is the look of the potatoes that I want. And fortunately for this meal, it doesn't really matter whether it's hot, hot. Because they're potatoes, and aioli, and salad. This could actually be a room temperature chicken dish like a picnic-- I really could. So I'm not so concerned about the temperature of those potatoes. I just like them to have a sense that they've been on the grill-- the taste of that. Maybe I could put some of these mushrooms. I'm a little bit afraid to do this really big one. Look at it. Amazing. I think I'll save that one. And I think I'll just halve that in two pieces just like that. I'm going to peek under my chicken again. Oh, it's getting very brown. And it's always a good point that when the chicken comes off the grill, it wants to rest for a few minutes-- maybe five minutes. So you can kind of finish the other cooking--...

Farm-to-table cooking

Alice Waters started America’s farm-to-table revolution. When she founded the iconic restaurant Chez Panisse, her local, organic ingredients sparked a movement and earned her the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. In her first-ever online cooking class, Alice opens the doors of her home kitchen to teach you how to pick seasonal ingredients, create healthy and beautiful meals, and change your life by changing the food you make at home.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

No Words I am in tears, tears of joy and gratitude, many many thanks and blessings for sharing your experience with all of us here.

I got a lot to tib-bits that I have incorporated into my home cooking for my family - cumin salt, preparing your fresh seasoning in a mortar and pestle, seasonal cooking... This have been an eye opener. Thank you, Alice.

I am not sure if I can put into words, beyond a cooking class... Thomas Keller moved me the same way. He and Alice are both amazing beings with amazing vision in their kitchens and their lives. With much gratitude...

Ms. Waters is wonderful. She made me feel as if I was sitting on a stool in her kitchen learning in person. I love her connection with food and how she makes it the center of fellowship. We need to slow down and enjoy the time we have with each other. Cooking homemade and gathering around the table is a sadly lost experience in our day. She has inspired me to make it a part of my week.


Carlie C.

Would you say that cooking with an outside bbq is similar to the indoor fire?

A fellow student

This is a wonderful lesson for us all. It’s what I struggle with on a day to day basis. Feeding bellies to be happy, and trying to not give in to over consumption. Yes we pay a pretty penny for this type of meal, but you need to understand that using these types of ingredients costs the buyer a bit of money. America is all about big plates and leaving so full that you can’t function afterwards. Less meat and more salads and root vegetables is what made me smile watching this. Thank you Alice for being so honest with your cooking style. It’s a lesson we all need to pay close attention to.

Liz C.

Brilliant! I could listen to Ms. Waters talk all day about cooking. I love seeing her work in her kitchen. Bravo.

Laura L.

Forgive me but I'm a bit disappointed... Moving the RAW breast with the same tongues as the potatoes and mushrooms... Also, that chicken was pretty raw in the middle when she cut into it to take a peak... When serving, cutting the chicken with the grain instead of against it makes for tougher chicken... Last point... How many people have that size fire place in their kitchen? I'd love to have one but it's unrealistic... I don't know... I expected more...


it's showing the same short description of the lesson for both lesson 13 and lesson 14, only the title is different makes it harder to remember where i am up to. Love Alice classes, she has a zen like grace and fantastic talent. i have learnt so much, thank you.


I agree with the comments on the portion size. We have become far too used to expecting large portions and believing they are necessary. I have a casserole dish that I used to make chicken tetrazinni in during the 70's and it fed our family of 5. Now I would feel uncomfortable making the dish for four people. I love looking at Alice's plate - salad served with the food, which I love, but so many of my guests and my hubby have issues with the food touching the other food. Maybe I'll try it and say that I learned it from Alice!


Such a beautiful plate. I just loved every moment of this chapter. The grill in the house was such a treat to see. The mushrooms were gorgeous. The entire plate came together in such classic way. I agree about using your hands. I use my hands all the time from mixing batters to bread doughs to making salads. Your hands are your best tool. I have an entire blog on that subject. Alice Waters has been such a pleasure to watch.

Diane T.

Love to listen to Alice all the time...she has such a love of cooking and connects so strongly with whatever she is doing with food.....Hope she plans on doing a second cooking class. I for sure would sign up for CLASS TWO!

Jennifer A.

Portion control! And as I look ahead to the 2nd half of our lives together (I *love* cooking outside on a campfire)- I am totally enamored with the indoor fire!

Val M.

Portion control. So important. I have children and I want to be sure that they don't have issues with healthy body weight. I also need them to choose food wisely, which I am finally learning how to prepare! Now I just have to undo the first 10 years of their nutrition.