Farm-to-table pioneer Alice Waters to speak in Grass Valley in September

Alice Waters, the pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, is speaking at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley on September 8. The event is presented by The Center for the Arts and sponsored by BriarPatch Co-op.

“A Conversation with Alice Waters” exemplifies the growing food sustainability movement in our region. Waters also is expected to break bread with some nearby farmers, along with some notable locals. Her onstage conversation at the Vet’s Auditorium will be followed by audience questions.

Beth Ruyak, host of “Insight” at Capital Public Radio, will moderate. The event begins at 8 p.m. Premium tickets are $65; $45 for Center members; and $50 for the general public. Tickets go on sale April 27 to The Center’s Encore Club members; May 3 to Center members and May 16 to the general public. For tickets and more information, visit HERE.

Waters has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. She is a chef, author, food activist and founder and owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school. Alice is the author of fifteen books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.

She has been honored at the White House with a National Humanities Medal and named as one of Time magazine’s most 100 influential people. “She proved the power of a chef, showing an entire generation that one passionate person can reshape the eating habits of a nation,” wrote prominent food writer Ruth Reichl.

WATERS’ TIES TO OUR AREA: TESS’ ALAN TANGREN AND JAMES RANCH

The spring issue of our magazine features an article about Alice Waters that shows her culinary ties to our area: Alan Tangren, the in-house chef at Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley, was a 22-year-veteran at Chez Panisse. The two have collaborated on cookbooks, and in one, Waters credits Tangren ““for foraging our relationships with scores of mostly local growers and suppliers who bring us beautiful ingredients.”

In addition,Lance and Gay Columbel’s James Ranch in Penn Valley has long supplied Chez Panisse with fresh grass-fed lamb for its dishes. (In our region, James Ranch lamb has been on the menu at Ike’s Quarter Cafe, the New Moon Cafe, and Polly’s Paladar in Nevada City; Waterboy in Sacramento; and grocery stores such as Natural Selection in Grass Valley and Mother Truckers on the Ridge). We interviewed the Gay Columbel and Alan Tangren for our article.

The theme of our spring issue is “local food from local people.” We introduce readers to the Bottrell family, who owns local grocers such as Mother Truckers on the San Juan Ridge; Megan McCollam, director of Polly’s Paladar supper club in Nevada City; and Tangren of Chef’s Table at Tess.’ 

In November 2014, food author and activist Michael Pollan spoke at the Vet’s Auditorium in Grass Valley, also an event hosted by The Center and  “The Patch.” Pollan also dined with local farmers.

(Photo: Amanda Marsalis)

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