related links

What to mash, what to bake—see our spud guide.

Make a trip to your local farmer's market and then try some of Alice Waters' fantastic recipes.

For great prices on Alice Waters cookbooks, click here!

 

chefs at home


Alice Waters

Alice Waters has been blazing trails in American cuisine since the 1970s by relying on seasonal, local, organic produce for her Berkeley, CA, restaurants. She tells FoodFit how to make dinner a family affair, plus advice on shopping for fall's bounty.


FoodFit   Sharing time around the table is important to you. How do you lure your family to dinner?
ALICE
WATERS:
  I think you need to make a ritual around it—maybe it's lighting the candles, maybe it's putting a special tablecloth on, maybe it's having the kids set the table in a nice way or maybe it's that you sit down and they serve. Seduce them into joining you. And of course having good tasting food brings them. I use smells a lot. I think that just even the smell of chicken roasting in the oven brings people together.
 

FoodFit   Any other tips?
ALICE
WATERS:
  I think serving things on platters is great. People can have as much or as little as they want. It's a generous way of offering at the table. Don't be too ambitious. If you like to sit with your family, you can' t be at the stove. I never have more than one dish that's hot. Serving grilled chicken breast, I might have a salad that comes afterwards and some dessert or fruit, or fruit and cheese that comes at the end. The kids don't stay very long. You have to engage them. I think it's great to have kids—everyone—participate in the cooking.
 

FoodFit   What kind of jobs do you give kids in the kitchen?
ALICE
WATERS:
  Picking parsley, shelling peas, cutting tops off strawberries—all of those little things. Pounding the garlic, that's a great one, with a mortar and pestle. It is very helpful in getting the meal together.
 

FoodFit   What are some of your kitchen essentials?
ALICE
WATERS:
  Herbs are very important to me. Fresh herbs can change everything. You can have pasta every night and you change the herb in it and you have a whole new dish. One time you put oregano in it, another time you put basil in it and the next time you put thyme and rosemary.
 

FoodFit   What vegetables do you think are under-appreciated?
ALICE
WATERS:
  Certainly the greens, kale and turnips. I think that people don't understand the possibilities of fall—all the different kinds of potatoes that all have different flavors.
 

FoodFit   How do you cook kale?
ALICE
WATERS:
  When it's tiny, you just barely need to wilt it. And when it's older and bigger, you change your methods. It goes into the soup. Maybe it gets pureed. It needs to cook longer. But that happens with all fruits and vegetables. They have a time when they're young and sweet and then they get a little older, so you cook them in different ways—raw in July and very cooked by Christmas.
 

FoodFit   Tell us about the Edible Schoolyard.
ALICE
WATERS:
  Students are directly involved in planting, harvesting and cooking their own school lunch. So they begin to connect what was in the garden with what is on the table. It teaches values that they'll have for their whole life—how to take care of the land, how to feed themselves, how to sit at the table.
 

FoodFit   You have always been a strong supporter of buying and eating local and seasonal produce. How does the average person get involved?
ALICE
WATERS:
  Get connected with the process in a garden—a community garden or connecting with farms—especially take children where they can pick [produce]. Getting into harvesting helps connect people with the season. Go to the supermarket and ask: "What day does the lettuce come in from the farm? What day can I get organic lettuce when it's just been picked? I'll be there and I'll bring 10 friends."
 

FoodFit's Favorite Alice Waters' Recipes

Alice Waters' Rainbow Tomato Pizza
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook
Alice Waters' Orange Juice
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook
Cucumber, Mango and Red Onion Salad
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook
Carmelized Turnips
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook
Garlicky Kale
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook
Kale and Potato Soup
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook
Savory Herb Meatballs with Spaghetti
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Café Cookbook

 

Sign up for FoodFit's FREE newsletters

Get healthy recipes, nutrition information and fitness tips!


privacy policy Submit




 



FoodFit is a part of HealthCentral
© 1999- The HealthCentral Network, Inc., Copyright All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use