aters founded and now partially owns Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Ca. It was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet Magazine in 2004. Oh, and it’s also been awarded a Michelin star (one of the highest culinary honors in the world). Waters has written 14 books, including the recently published “The Art of Simple Food II.” And it doesn’t stop there. She has transformed the way that Americans talk and think about food in a big way. And began advocating for local food before terms like “organic” held any weight. As Slow Food’s international vice president, she brings attention to environmental sustainability, farms and the economic effects of locavorism — something that has caught the regard of the Obamas, the Clintons, Prince Charles and the Dalai Lama. In decades of campaigning, Waters has shown that food is not only important to daily life, but it is an instrument for good. Food really is a political statement, and it can bring change. Believing in the “basic human right” for children to have access to healthy lunches, Waters designed the Edible Schoolyard, a hands-on public education program that involves students in all factors of the food cycle. Over 2,000 schools in the United States and 29 countries have now adopted her original model. The program has led to Waters’ nationally recognized School Lunch Initiative, proving that when students engage in planting, harvesting and cooking their own food, they are more likely to eat it. We interviewed the legend about her work, her family and of course, her favorite foods. Eidé Magazine: So Alice, what inspired you to create Chez Panisse? Alice Waters: My vision for Chez Panisse came while studying in France when I was 19. France really changed my life forever — I recognized a culture that cared about food, about what went on the table, about celebrating where it came from. It was a way of life that I immediately understood. I wanted to recreate that way of life back home. I didn’t realize it would be a restaurant. But I began to cook all the time — more and more — inviting friends over for dinner. People brought ingredients that they had foraged that day; it became a real happening. PRE-SPRING 2014
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