Culinary Arts

A Well-Stocked Pantry

Alice Waters

Lesson time 24:28 min

Alice teaches you how to choose the best quality ingredients with which to stock your pantry. She shares seven dishes all sourced from her own pantry including “Coming Home Pasta,” her go-to when returning home to an empty fridge after a long trip.

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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ALICE WATERS: Alongside high-quality staples from the market, I also like to make things for the pantry myself. You can quickly pickle the last bits of vegetables from the market that week. They taste delicious with grilled cheese or smoked fish. Wholesome pancake batter can be kept in the fridge up to a week. And I almost always have brown rice and sauteed greens available to use throughout the week. Fanny and I are going to make a very simple quick pickle with the vegetables that we found at the farmer's market yesterday. It's a basic brine. It's got beautiful thyme, and bay, garlic, coriander, clove, and hot pepper in it. - This is something you can do inside 15 minutes, you know-- - And you can keep it for a month in the refrigerator. So it's just kind of always, always ready when you need it. - Perfect for that grilled cheese you love to have for lunch. - It's made with a pickling brine. It has some sugar in it. So why don't you make the brine? And I'll cut the vegetables. - I will. All right. I'm gonna measure out a cup and 3/4 of water. - And I'm going to just cut up this cauliflower, taking the bottom off first. And just cutting around because I wanna keep these little florets. I like to keep them uniform in size so that they cook evenly. FANNY: Mom, I'm using a champagne vinegar. Is there a reason why we use champagne instead of, say, like a red wine vinegar? ALICE WATERS: It's more neutral than the red wine vinegar. It's one of those things in the brine that you're just trying to marry it so that it doesn't fall either too sour or too sweet. FANNY: But then, when it comes to the spicing, you really can be a little bit more informal and spontaneous with your measurements. I mean, you can use a little pinch of chili and maybe a couple tablespoons of the coriander seeds. Clove are strong, so I usually use just two, maybe three. But when it comes to the herbs too, just a little handful or a few leaves. And this is bay, and that was thyme. Four cloves of garlic for this recipe, which I'll peel and halve and add to the brine as well. ALICE WATERS: And these fresh vegetables are so sweet in the winter. They really have a great taste. But I'll cut up a few carrots. And, again, what's important is that they, that they are cut approximately to the same size so that they cook evenly. There are amazing colors of carrots. The heritage seeds have produced carrots that are red red, carrots that are purple, carrots that are white, these yellow ones. I'm just seeing today that these are a sort of almost like orange color, peach colored. FANNY: They also have really different tastes, right? Like I find that some of the orange ones are sweeter, or the purple ones are earthier, you know. But that's some of the excitement in tasting them. ALICE WATERS: I like this shape, but they could be really any shape. They could be long sticks. They could be round. - So this is just beginning to come to simmering here. So...

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.

This course has reinforced for me the importance of eating with the seasons and that the selection and freshness of ingredients is as important as the cooking technique itself. Alice Waters is a true master at her craft. Could listen to her for hours. Would love to have more courses delivered by her.

Authentic and personal. Brought depth to the process and truly inspired me on another level. What a treat! I never thought.....:)

To reconnect with food! Loved that class. Thank you, Alice!

the best instructor !!!!!!!! incredible Alice


Liz C.

I love this lesson and all of Alice Waters videos. I'm now watching them all for the second time, just because they are so wonderful.

Maria E.

Loving the lessons but I can't download the pdf for Chapter 5: a well-stocked pantry


I agree with less is better, especially with kitchen tools. I will also remember the sense of “touch” with hands as a tool.

Suzanne S.

I just ordered a suribachi. I am really looking forward to making vinaigrette in it. I had also wondered about cooking with olive oil as I had previously heard not to as well.

Akshay C.

It sounds like Alice suggests cooking with olive oil. Thomas Keller repeatedly mentions that this isn’t a good idea because of olive oil’s low flashpoint and that olive oil should only be used as a finishing oil. Can anyone reconcile this?

A fellow student

We have the most wonderful Sea Salt in Tasmania, Australia. Sourced naturally from the most pristine waters in the world. It is a pantry staple for me and it is made just one hour from my home.

Lynne H.

I've watched alot of chefs- she is by far my favorite.. Ironic I joined Masterclass to take the Annie Leibovitz Photography course, saw her photographing Alice and here I am.. Six degrees they say..

Simone M.

My next kitchen purchase is a Suribachi for sure; I like the idea of grinding the spices myself rather than buying them ground.

Jacinta G.

Coming home pasta- what s beautiful ritual. Hurrying to make cumin salt. Many thanks for this inspiring soulful lesson.?

Kim T.

I find it interesting to learn what items s a Chef keeps as staples in their pantry. ou hear so much about how Chefs only want a simple egg after work and while she obviously cooks more than eggs for her family, the simplicity & quality of cooking and ingredients is obvious.