Alice Waters is a chef, an activist and a best-selling author. She is the founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, a restaurant that sources ingredients from local farmers and producers and is widely credited with being the genesis behind today’s sustainable food movement.
She cares deeply about the way that we eat and has dedicated much of her life to ensuring children receive nutritious and flavorful school lunches. She also works to educate kids on how food is made through her Edible Schoolyard project
Originally from New Jersey, she grew up in a home with a mother who didn’t necessarily have the best grasp on the culinary arts but made an effort to provide healthier alternatives where she could. She attended the University of California, Berkeley and received a degree in French Cultural Studies. It was during her time studying abroad that she learned to create meals around ingredients that are grown locally.
When she returned to California she decided to adopt these same concepts of sustainability and market-fresh cooking into her own meal preparation. She opened Chez Panisse in 1971, named after her favorite Marcel Pagnol character. The restaurant boasted a small menu of seasonal and organic ingredients all sourced from local farmers.
Through the restaurant, she founded the Chez Panisse Foundation which helped to establish and support the Edible Schoolyard program at a Berkeley, California middle school. Since its inception the program has gone on to pilot five additional Edible Schoolyard programs across the country. She has also gained national attention for her push to provide organic, free and healthy meals to school children across the nation and received the attention of the White House through First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.
Alice drops by Bullseye to talk to us about when it first occurred to her that she would like to cook for a living, receiving her first French cookbook and the most challenging meal she’s ever tried to prepare. Plus, she’ll tell us about the one food she’s not too crazy about.
Click here to learn more about Alice’s Edible Schoolyard project.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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