I Met Alice Waters

It’s been difficult to keep this a secret, but today I finally get to tell you: when we were in Miami, I had the privilege of going to a farmer’s market with Alice Waters. It all happened rather comically. When I met Alice at the childhood obesity panel, I asked her how she ate when she travelled–if she could stick to her ideological guns at an airport food court or at a hotel restaurant. She told me she travels with her oils and other cooking equipment so that wherever she goes she can visit the local market and make herself the kind of food she wants to eat. “Could we go with you to a farmer’s market?” I rather pushily asked. And she kindly answered: “Of course.”

This week’s FN Dish (click here) is the result: a tour of a Miami farmer’s market with Alice Waters, as well as a visit to DiFara Pizza with Food Network’s newest star, Sunny Anderson. You also get to watch me getting my haircut and nerd out talking about the magic of David Copperfield. It’s quite an episode and if that doesn’t leave you satisfied, you should click here to learn Alice’s secret method for making a perfect omelet. I plan to make one ASAP.

P.S. Don’t be afraid to embed these videos on your livejournals, facebooks and/or blogs. Especially the omelet one–people will love it! And the embedding code is right there.

My Alice Waters Moment

IMG_1.JPG

After watching that Alice Waters video last week and reading the accompanying article, I was determined to recreate the meal she made for NYT author Kim Severson. I’m not sure I recreated it exactly–I added too much oil to my aioli so it broke a bit; and I used purple carrots just because they were fun. But this was a simple, delightful, and mostly healthy dinner. Although, come to think of it, I did fry the potatoes in oil: but c’mon, who prefers boiled potatoes to fried potatoes? And don’t carrots and radishes cancel out fried potatoes? If you do the math, this did more good for me than bad.

Alice in Marketland

This video of Alice Waters shopping at the Union Square Greenmarket is unbelievable; like watching Jimi Hendrix buy a guitar or Picasso in a paint store. This is a genius in her element, surrounded by the very thing that inspires her. Look how delighted she is by that striped eggplant, by the taste of that tiny peach. And look how people adore her, how they treat her like a goddess, which, in many ways, she is. The accompanying article by Kim Severson doesn’t gush, though: it’s level-headed and appreciative without being fawning. That’s why she writes for The New York Times. Me, on the other hand, I’m not afraid to fawn: that plate assembled at the end makes me want to become a farmer just so my vegetables had the chance to get the Alice Waters treatment. Fresh produce never looked so good.

[There’s also a lively debate about Alice on the Diner’s Journal blog; I left a comment, let’s see if you can find it.]