Alice Waters, founder of the famed five-course menu restaurant, Chez Panisse, will be at the Chicago Green City Market this Saturday to sign copies of her latest book, Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.
Alice Waters is considered by many in the food world as a living culinary legend because of her push to promote the concept that food be grown organically, consumed locally and eaten on a seasonal basis. It is on this premise that Chez Panisse was opened in 1971 in Berkeley, California after she spent time as a student in France in the 1960’s. In France she experienced farmers’ markets where foods in their most natural and freshest form tempted her to buy them even though she had no place to cook! It’s also what she wanted to have here in the U.S. and what led her to the creation of her restaurant, to write books based on the menus served there and to establish the Chez Panisse Foundation.
Just after Election Day, Ms. Waters submitted a co-authored letter to President and Mrs. Obama asking them to set an example for our country on culinary matters. She wanted them to choose the White House chef carefully and not base their decision on celebrity chef status but instead to choose someone who follows the organic-sustainable-local-seasonal philosophy she has been advocating for nearly forty years. She also suggested they plant a garden, which we now know they decided to do.
In Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea, she advocates a food-based curriculum in our schools, using her pilot project at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Junior High School as a model for all others. In the project, kids are intimately involved in the planting, gardening, harvesting, cooking and eating of healthy organic foods. It should not go unmentioned that she also works with the Garden Project at the San Francisco County Jail, a program she believes has profoundly transformed the lives of those involved.
In an earlier book, Chez Panisse Vegetables, she urges people to shop at farmers markets as a habit.
Have you been avoiding farmers’ markets because you think they’re over-priced, elitist or you just don’t want to buy into what you think is an organic food craze?
Or, perhaps you’ve been to one before, but are simply overwhelmed by the plethora of ‘raw materials’ thrown into wooden square baskets and have no idea what to do with any of it.
Whether you fall into either category or you’re a seasoned market shopper, the Green City Market is a great place to get your feet wet or give it another try. Take these pointers from Alice Waters along with you for some help.
This is what she said in an interview with StarChefs.com:
- Taste the produce. (Most producers will allow a taste or so)
- Buy small amounts of lots of things so you cans see how to cook with them and work with a variety of foods.
- Go to the market without any expectation of what to eat that day. See what’s ripe and buy that. Then, go back and look in cookbooks to see what you can do with it.
To read the full interview, go to: http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/AWaters/html/interview.shtml
These are simple, yet great tips I’ll be sure to use on Saturday when I trek out there to shop and try to meet the woman I’ve admired for many, many years. Now if I can just get an interview with her…
Does anyone know her publicist?
Please Note: This Saturday, the market will be located outdoors at the Peggy Notebaert Museum’s Eco-lot (northeast of the museum) at 2430 N. Cannon in Chicago from 8:00 am- 1:00 pm. Alice Waters will be signing books from 10:30-11:30 am.
For more information about the Green City Market, go to: http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/