Day 85 - Friday I'm Inspired: Alice Waters

Image: @navanel

Image: @navanel

What are you up to this weekend?  

If you're looking for an enlightening video to watch, I'd recommend checking out the PBS Master's episode "Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution".  

I have to admit, I didn't know who Alice Waters was, or why she was important, though I follow her on Instagram.  It turns out, she has been quite an influential figure in the world of food.  Though we hear the term "farm-to-table" all the time these days, Alice's restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, was one of the first restaurants in modern day to re-establish relationships with food growers.  

Alice's philosophy is similar to that of Michael Pollan, who is actually featured in this episode.  She advocates for the importance of consumers understanding where their food comes from.  She discusses the benefits of eating locally, and waxes poetic about the beautiful variety of foods we can experience if we eat seasonally.  

Alice Waters

Alice Waters

The recipes she describes are not what you'd expect from a French restaurant.  They are simple, and rely on the ingredients being at their peak ripeness and flavor.  They let the ingredients speak for themselves.  This is the way that I love to cook.  To cook delicious food, you just have to find the best, freshest ingredients available, and get out of their way. 

One of Chez Panisse's specialties is a peach galette, but Alice will only serve it from early July to mid-August, when the California heat has brought the peaches to their perfect ripeness.  She won't serve a fresh raspberry after the day on which it's picked.   If a raspberry makes it to the day after it's picked, it becomes part of a sauce or sorbet, but is never served fresh except on the day it's harvested.  

I love her respect and love for local fruits and vegetables, and I love that she makes cooking and eating incredible, flavorful food seem so accessible.  More than that, she shows it for what it can truly be - one of the greatest pleasures in life.  Sitting down at a table with friends over the most nourishing food available is one of the most wholesome and soul-soothing activities in which we can take part. 

Watch it, and I guarantee you'll feel good afterwards, and be inspired to shop your local farmer's market and share your bounty with your friends.