Alice Waters, Chef, Author, and Organic Food Advocate Speaks at Scripps College

Alice Waters, the pioneering chef who brought fresh, organic restaurant fare to national attention, speaks at Scripps College on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. in Scripps College’s Performing Arts Center, Garrison Theater. The event is free and open to the public, thanks to generous funding from the Roxanne Wilson Fund for Women’s Leadership and the Katharine Howard Miller Endowed Speakers Program.

Waters, proprietor of award-winning Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California, is a pioneer of a culinary philosophy based on using the freshest organic products served only when in season.

Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 at age 27. For almost four decades, the restaurant has become one of the most awarded and renowned in the world and has consistently ranked among the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Named the most influential figure in the past 30 years of the American kitchen by Gourmet magazine, Waters has been called the mother of American food.

One of the most visible supporters of the organic food movement, Waters has been a proponent of organics for more than 40 years. She believes that eating organic foods, free from herbicides and pesticides, is essential for both taste and the health of the environment and local communities.

In 1996, Waters’ commitment to health and education led to the creation of The Edible Schoolyard, a one-acre garden with an adjacent kitchen classroom at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. The Edible Schoolyard actively involves up to 1,000 students in all aspects of the food cycle. The program offers students the knowledge and values needed to build a humane and sustainable future.

Waters is also vice president of Slow Food International, a nonprofit that promotes and celebrates local artisanal food traditions. The organization has 100,000 members in over 130 countries. Her many honors and awards include an Honorary Doctor of Humanities, Princeton University, 2009; co-recipient with Kofi Anan, Global Environmental Citizen Award, 2008; Lifetime Achievement Award, Restaurant magazine’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” 2007; and Best Restaurant in America, Gourmet magazine, 2001.

Waters has written several books on food and cooking, including Chez Panisse Cooking and The Art of Simple Food. Waters’ work and philosophy is based on the principle that access to sustainable, fresh, and seasonal food is a right, not a privilege, and she believes that the food system needs to be “good, clean, and fair.”

The Roxanne Wilson Fund for Women’s Leadership — To recognize Roxanne Wilson ’76 at the conclusion of her five-year tenure as chair of the Board of Trustees, Scripps College established the Roxanne Wilson Fund for Women’s Leadership. The fund’s goal is to bring to campus global women leaders with an interdisciplinary skill set. These speakers are asked to share their perspectives on the different paths to leadership and what it means to be a global woman leader.

The Katharine Howard Miller Endowed Speakers Program — Established by Scripps College alumna Katharine Miller ’55, the Katharine Howard Miller Endowed Speakers Program is a lasting legacy to her memory. The speakers program brings to campus presenters in the area of entrepreneurship or the non-profit world.