Food is a great representation of culture and history. Sit-down restaurants that serve traditional foods can tell you a lot about which crops are most popularly grown, and which ingredients are most commonly used to perfect dishes of various ethnicities that originated in your region. If anything, traditional restaurants can be used to associate each state with specific cuisine. For example, the South has always been known for soul food plates, while the Northeast is famous for seafood dishes.
Here is what Reader's Digest had to say about the food served at Chez Panisse:
"Widely known as the farm-to-table movement’s matriarch, chef and food activist Alice Waters opened Berkeley’s Chez Panisse in 1971 with a rotating menu of freshly harvested food in response to the upswing in commodity crops and processed food. Epitomizing Californian cuisine with a mission to create beautiful dishes sourced as close as its own backyard, Chez Panisse continues to serve as a hub for sustainable agriculture in a state responsible for more than $33 billion in yearly agricultural revenue. So if you’d like to explore where exactly your food comes from—and have cash to drop on what will be a pricey but spectacular meal—take a road trip through California and taste it for yourself."