Chef Alice Waters has some interesting things to say about community, as well as the importance of good food. Two things that many of us hold near and dear. Here is a quote about the importance of hospitality that I came across recently. You know how I love a good quote! I especially like what she says about passing the peas.
Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality; we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way. –Chef Alice Waters
This is so true, isn’t it? Some of my most precious moments with friends and family have happened around a kitchen or a dining room table. (I’m rather fond of picnics, too.) Now I will think of these times as “pass the peas” moments.
For those of you who don’t know, Chef Alice Waters is an American chef, restaurateur, activist, and author. She is the owner of Chez Panisse, a Berkeley, California restaurant famous for its organic, locally-grown ingredients and for pioneering California cuisine. Alice Waters has written 11 books, including, In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart (2007).
As a food activist, she also said:
“My real emphasis is on the farmers who are taking care of the land, the farmers who are really thinking about our nourishment. I’m looking for them and I know very well that in order to cook something that is really flavorful, you need to have ingredients that are grown in a place where they really thrive and so you’re looking to the farmer to plant the right seeds in the right place and care for them, and know when to pick them. … 85 percent of cooking is about finding those ingredients, and then it’s so easy after that. You just let them be themselves.”
“We’re trying to bring children into a new relationship with food where they have an opportunity to work in a garden. They know what it is to plant the seeds and pick the weeds and they’re learning about what it takes to cook the food. … We’ve been separated from this experience through a kind of fast-food indoctrination that’s been going on for the last 50 years.”
“I feel that good food should be a right and not a privilege and it needs to be without pesticides and herbicides. And everybody deserves this food.”
Can you relate to these quotes about food and hospitality? If you feel like commenting, I’d love to hear about your “pass the peas” moments. Were you with family and community at Thanksgiving? Another event?
P.S. I am an ex-shrink who writes award-winning novels. Check out my books here.