“And I wanted to live like the French”

As America celebrates Alice Waters’ cutting-edge contribution to the Organic, Slow-Food movement and her forty years at Chez Panisse — one of the most famous restaurants in America, named after Marcel Pagnol’s Fanny — Alice Waters celebrates her inspiration: France.

Tonight my Dad called me from the barn — where he was bent under his horse, hammering shoes into place — to let me know that “you might want to tune-in to NPR.”  Alice Waters was on, he said.

I had to laugh a little to think of him listening with one ear to the sound of nails in hooves and with the other to the  “dreamy” (his — appropriate — word, not mine) voice of Alice Waters.

Truth be told, I don’t know much about her, although I know she’s basically the Mother of the modern Organic movement.  No tomatoes in her restaurant before July, and all that jazz.  I have yet to visit her restaurant…and it looks like I’d need a pretty penny to do so.  Given what I heard tonight, though, I think the two of us would get along great.

Here’s my favorite part of tonight’s interview:

Alice Waters: I went to France in 1965 and it was an awakening for me. I felt like I had never really eaten before. I had liked certain things but I didn’t understand how it fit into peoples’ lives in a delicious way.  When I went there and I walked to schools, past the markets, and ate in the little restaurants in Paris, it was like a revelation…there was always something very political happening at the table in terms of conversation.  It was a whole cultural experience that I had there that really impressed me and so when I came home I felt like I could make this happen in my own life…I went about looking for the food, and cooking dinners at my house for friends.

Terry Gross: Did you think that the delicious food had to be French cuisine?

Alice Waters (Laughing): I’m afraid I did.  I loved the way the French ate: they had small courses, always had a salad with the meal, and some cheese.  It seemed so well considered, I would say.  I absorbed it, as if by osmosis.  And I wanted to live like the French.

Interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Photo Credits: Google Images


Filed under Cool Characters, Culture, Food, Inspiration, Recipes/Cooking

3 responses to ““And I wanted to live like the French”

  1. I’ve lived in France, and have visited many times, and hope to retire there. The French seem to understand that life is not all about workworkworkdie, as Americans seem addicted to as the only way to live. I love the balance of beauty and style with work there. I like fresh food and long lunches.

    I love your Dad’s ability to multi-task, though!

    • So glad to hear from you again! Thanks for your comment. I agree with you (and Alice Waters, obviously) about the quality of life issue. The French know how to enjoy life, that’s for sure. Have a great week!

  2. I can understand where she’s coming from. Oh, how I miss France…

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