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Alice Waters        

Executive Chef, Founder & Owner of Chez Panisse; Sustainable Agriculture Advocate

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, Waterss commitment to education led to the creation of The Edible Schoolyard at Berkeleys 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.

Speech Topics


Slow Food Values in a Fast Food World

How the values of our Fast Food World - efficiency, availability, and cheapness – have influenced our society. Are Slow Food values the antidote to our current culture of convenience? In this speech, Alice discusses the principles of Slow Food – sustainability, seasonality, and community – in creating a “delicious revolution.

The Power of Gathering: 40 Years of Chez Panisse

Since opening its doors in 1971, Chez Panisse has been considered a pioneer of the farm to table movement. Inspiring American cuisine for over four decades, Chez Panisse maintains its same dedication to sourcing only the best local, seasonal ingredients in determining its menus. In this speech, Alice reflects upon her inspiration in starting the restaurant – a desire to recreate the food and culture she experienced while studying in France – and shares her personal stories about the beginnings of what would become one of America’s most notable restaurants.

Edible Education

A speech for parents, educators, and community leaders interested in introducing the edible schoolyard curriculum into the classroom, Alice discusses the importance of edible education in empowering students with the knowledge and values to make food choices that are healthy for them, their communities, and the environment.

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