Biography

Alice Waters, chef, author, and the proprietor of Chez Panisse, is an American pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally. She is a passionate advocate for a food economy that is “good, clean, and fair.” Over the course of nearly forty years, Chez Panisse has helped create a community of scores of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures the restaurant a steady supply of fresh and pure ingredients.

In 1996, Waters’s commitment to education led to the creation of The Edible Schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School: a one-acre garden, an adjacent kitchen-classroom, and an “eco-gastronomic” curriculum. By actively involving a thousand students in all aspects of the food cycle, The Edible Schoolyard is a model public education program that instills the knowledge and values we need to build a humane and sustainable future. The program is nationally recognized for its efforts to integrate gardening, cooking, and sharing school lunch into the core academic curriculum. Alice established the Chez Panisse Foundation in 1996 to support the Schoolyard and encourage similar programs that use food traditions to teach, nurture, and empower young people. The success of The Edible Schoolyard led to the School Lunch Initiative, whose national agenda integrates a nutritious daily lunch and gardening experience into the academic curriculum of all public schools in the United States.

Waters is Vice President of Slow Food International, a nonprofit organization that promotes and celebrates local artisanal food traditions and has 100,000 members in over 130 countries. She is the author of eight books, including The Art of Simple Food: Notes and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution.

Alice Waters’s honors and affiliations include:

  • Inductee, California Hall of Fame, 2008
  • Co-recipient, with Kofi Annan, Global Environmental Citizen Award, 2008
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Restaurant magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 2007
  • Founder, Sustainable Food Program at the American Academy in Rome, 2006
  • Force for Nature Award, Natural Resources Defense Council, 2004
  • Best Restaurant in America, Gourmet magazine, 2001
  • Founder, Yale Sustainable Food Project, Berkeley College, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 2003
  • Vice President, Slow Food International, Bra, Italy, 2003
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Testimonials

Waters, legendary chef and founder of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, delivers an impassioned manifesto on how food and its quality impacts society and the planet . . . She offers cogent, well-reasoned analyses of the price of convenience, blind trust in advertising, and cheapness, all of which seduce ‘us into losing our desire, confidence, and ability to do things for ourselves.’ Highly convincing and incredibly inspiring, Waters’ fervent entreaty is sure to open eyes and change minds.
– Publishers Weekly
In this warm, passionate and very personal book Alice Waters lays out a stunningly convincing case for changing the way we eat. No jargon, no big words, just Alice walking about all the things that matter most to her. I’m going to give this book to everyone I love.
– Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums
Alice Waters is my favorite chef, and We Are What We Eat is a beautiful, important book. It’s full of passion, anger at the way things are, and hope for a kinder, fairer, more humane, and vastly more enjoyable future. This book is the culmination of a life’s work, a great life, and is a must read.
– Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation
What Alice has contributed to the world is immeasurable, but this new book We Are What We Eat covers new ground. Alice has dedicated her entire life to people, the planet, and the food we consume. Here, she teaches us that food has an intrinsic value that today’s society takes for granted. Imagine what this world would look, smell, and taste like if more of us followed her lead.
– Ron Finley, The Gangsta Gardener

Booksby Alice Waters

Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution

The Art of Simple Food

Recipes and Lessons from a Delicious Cooking Revolution

We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto

The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden: A Cookbook

Chez Panisse Vegetables

My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own: A Cookbook

Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook

In the Green Garden: Techniques to Learn by Heart

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