‘Mother of American Cuisine’ Alice Waters celebrates the 50th anniversary of Californian restaurant Chez Panisse

BERKELEY, Calif .– Chez Panisse, restaurateur and culinary activist Alice Waters pioneered the farm-to-table movement and Californian cuisine. In fact, she is often referred to as “Mother of American Cuisine”.

“It’s Chez Panisse’s 50th anniversary,” said Waters. “And so this is a time to take a break and think about what happened and what could happen to Chez Panisse.”

Waters has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for more than four decades. Before opening Chez Panisse, she attended UC Berkeley where she decided to study abroad in France.

“I experienced a way of life that woke me up,” recalls Waters. “Every day we went to a little restaurant and they had what was ripe, available at that time. I had never lived that way.”

During his trip, Waters also spent time shopping for local produce and preparing fresh, simple foods, an experience that would inspire the farm-to-table movement in America.

Chez Panisse incorporates fresh, local ingredients into every dish and also gives back to the farms in a special way.

“Now it’s from the farm restaurant,” Waters said. “We take all the leftover food back to the farm, feed the soil with the compost.”

Waters is also giving back through food education, launching the Edible Schoolyard Project, which allows students to learn how to grow and prepare their own food.

“This is my big initiative right now, is to understand how we can cook in public schools, how we can buy food from local, regenerative and organic farmers … how we can feed the children “said Waters.

She added, “I know this is what we need to teach in school: the pleasure of the table, the consequences of the daily decisions we make about food.”

Visit here for more information on Chez Panisse.

To learn more about The Edible Schoolyard Project, go here.

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