In addition to fare and fanfare, another noted Chez Panisse signifier would have to be the illustrations and printing found on their menus and cookbooks. Simple, elegant, and concise--just like the food it denotes--the prints have been around for decades, but little is known about the artist. Until now. Artist, designer, and printmaker Patricia Curtan began hand printing menus while working as a cook in the Chez Panisse kitchen. In her new book Menus for Chez Panisse--a shockingly impressive and addictive tome, especially when you consider that, more or less, it's a book about menus--Curtan shows off four decades of her work, which feature special menus for such media and gastronomic darlings as Julia Child, Hillary Clinton, Mikhail Baryshnikov, James Beard, and more.

Our personal favorite would have to this menu she created for two male pals getting married, featuring two male red wing blackbirds.

Here we present just a smattering of Curtan's extensive work. And, of course, you can buy the book on Amazon, which we strongly recommend. Gorgeous stuff, folks.

You can meet Curtan in person on Saturday, October 22, when she signs copies of her book at MARCH (3075 Sacramento Street) from 2 - 4 p.m.