Friday, March 20, 2009

Here We Go

The other night, Erik and I were watching 60 Minutes and Alice Waters was on one of the segments. I was kind of shocked that Erik had never eaten at Chez Panisse, but only because it's right here in Berkeley, and it's, like, one of the most famous He loves food too, so it seems like the kind of place he would have made it to.

I also know her work from the Edible Garden she had a hand in starting at one of the middle schools in Berkeley.

So, we're watching together, and I'm completely charmed by her. She's so passionate about her work, and she's cooking for the interviewer (I'm sure I should know her name; I do not) and she's harvesting chives from her kitchen garden and she's using what I roughly estimate to be a $300 knife to chop them up. Her kitchen is a dream and actually has a wood burning brick oven. I know because they showed her cooking an egg in a copper ladle by holding it over the open fire right there in her kitchen. Shut. Up.

Was it yummy? The report is that it was 'the single most delicious breakfast' the interviewer had ever eaten. Was it beautiful? I'm here to tell you that it was a shockingly beautiful meal.

After the segment ended, Erik was all, "She seems elitist, and pompous." It's like we weren't watching the same show at all! I'm sputtering around with a bunch of "how could you say thats" because I saw a little organic farmer who loves food and loves cooking and basically birthed the sustainable food/organic movement. How could you not love her? Elitist. It shocks me! Here is somebody who believes every person deserves pesticide free food, who preaches the revolution of taking control of your own food production, who yes, happens to have a pretentious brick oven in the middle of her, yes, multi-million dollar mansion, but come on! She wasn't doing the interview on her yacht, or blinged out in $3000 sunglasses, or shooting around between takes in her Mazerati. She had a pretty singular vision, and all her material splurges came back to it...$4.00 for a pound of organic grapes, that knife, her extraordinary kitchen, a garden I would hurt somebody for...I quite liked her, I quite liked her message.

She mentioned something I hear a lot about in urban homesteading circles, which is that she would love to see some of that White House lawn removed, to make room for a produce and herb garden. As I said, I've heard people talking about this for years. There is a whole segment of society that would love to see all lawns outlawed! Anyway, I looked at Erik, and I said, "If anyone's going to tear out the lawn and plant food, it's going to be the Obama's."

And I heard today that Michelle Obama is planting a garden at the White House. That's nice, don't you think?


  1. A garden at the White House is great! A Beehive is great, too. However, I can just hear Kelly say, "Oh great, now everybody is going to have a beehive now." She's been wanting to have bees for a long time and she hates doing what everybody else is doing. Ode to a bee... Moose

  2. I had the pleasure of seeing Alice Waters on a panel a few months ago at the Slow Food Festival in SF. She IS amazing and was talking about that White House lawn before Obama got elected, yet hinted that she hoped he would win since her chances would be better! What a great way to start reforming the way we eat in America! Now if we can just get rid of that crappy packaged food in the school cafeterias....

  3. I confess... I haven't eaten there! It's on my list though! I enjoy Alice Waters every time I see her interviewed! I've stumbled from next door, "Cezar", a zillion times. :) The tapas are yummy!!!