4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A long line for Alice Waters

Fans of all sorts come out to her book signing at Chino Farm

Alice Waters then (on the book cover) and now (at the table)
Alice Waters then (on the book cover) and now (at the table)

On this particular Sunday, the longest line at the Chino Farm vegetable stand in Rancho Santa Fe is not the one for the pricey produce, or even for the wood-fired Stinging Nettle pizza. Instead, it snakes steadily toward the table where celebrity chef and food activist Alice Waters is signing copies of her memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook.

She is here as part of the Good Earth/Great Chefs Series; proceeds go to benefit her Edible Schoolyard Project. (Waters, founder of the Berkeley food mecca Chez Panisse, famously put Chino Farms on the map in the 1970s, when a friend sent her a box of their haricots verts — green beans — and they proved to be just like the ones she’d had in France.)

Rob Hillman is here because “it’s Alice Waters! She was a fun-loving girl who went to France and came back and started a restaurant with some friends on a lark, and look at her influence. Today, everybody talks about fresh, locally sourced foods, but back then, it was remarkable. My son actually worked for Bob Cannard at Green String Farm in Sonoma; Waters buys a lot of their produce. So she’s influenced his generation as well as mine.”

Carrie Dederich loves making Waters’ “roasted tomatoes, where you just take tomatoes off the vine, put them on a sheet pan, slather them with olive oil and whole cloves of garlic, and throw them in the oven at 250 degrees for like ten hours. Then you pull them out and smash them on pasta, and that’s it. Her stuff is so simple and beautiful. There’s a line in the book: ‘Beauty is the language of caring.’ I think she’s reminding everybody that to be human is to recognize and appreciate beauty. If not, God would be playing to an empty house. That’s her message, and food is her medium.”

Gloria Aronson took her family to Chez Panisse six years ago. “My first time having persimmons as a garnish on a salad — sliced thin. I do that with my own salads now, when they’re in season. We had our table right near the kitchen, and when we finished, they asked if we wanted to have a tour. Two years ago, my daughter Kendra self-published The San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market Cookbook, and left a copy for Alice at the restaurant. Alice made a wonderful comment that Kendra could use in her marketing. She sold 10,000 copies.”

Margeurite Gifka followed Waters into the business — and beyond. After learning restaurant work in New Orleans, she cooked at a fancy dude ranch in Montana, “with all this amazing produce that we could just go and buy. The most gorgeous vegetables. You let whatever you have talk to you. ‘Let’s take these celery leaves and make an Italian salsa verde. Then maybe pick up a piece of fish to serve with that, and maybe some celery root to tie the two together.”

Today, she’s a food coordinator at Third Avenue Charitable Organization. “We serve two meals a week to the community. There’s a church garden that grows beautiful greens for us, and we pick up donations from Albertson’s three times a week. So it’s very seasonal: we get what’s available, and that determines what we make.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Clem’s Station, a place for talkies

Talmadge’s new neighborhood restaurant more about the company you keep
Next Article

Subs off Imperial Beach, Yamamoto's killer, a kid in WWII San Diego

Tarawa, Japanese POWs, my dad's part in Hiroshima, Iwo Jima, captured in Burma
Alice Waters then (on the book cover) and now (at the table)
Alice Waters then (on the book cover) and now (at the table)

On this particular Sunday, the longest line at the Chino Farm vegetable stand in Rancho Santa Fe is not the one for the pricey produce, or even for the wood-fired Stinging Nettle pizza. Instead, it snakes steadily toward the table where celebrity chef and food activist Alice Waters is signing copies of her memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook.

She is here as part of the Good Earth/Great Chefs Series; proceeds go to benefit her Edible Schoolyard Project. (Waters, founder of the Berkeley food mecca Chez Panisse, famously put Chino Farms on the map in the 1970s, when a friend sent her a box of their haricots verts — green beans — and they proved to be just like the ones she’d had in France.)

Rob Hillman is here because “it’s Alice Waters! She was a fun-loving girl who went to France and came back and started a restaurant with some friends on a lark, and look at her influence. Today, everybody talks about fresh, locally sourced foods, but back then, it was remarkable. My son actually worked for Bob Cannard at Green String Farm in Sonoma; Waters buys a lot of their produce. So she’s influenced his generation as well as mine.”

Carrie Dederich loves making Waters’ “roasted tomatoes, where you just take tomatoes off the vine, put them on a sheet pan, slather them with olive oil and whole cloves of garlic, and throw them in the oven at 250 degrees for like ten hours. Then you pull them out and smash them on pasta, and that’s it. Her stuff is so simple and beautiful. There’s a line in the book: ‘Beauty is the language of caring.’ I think she’s reminding everybody that to be human is to recognize and appreciate beauty. If not, God would be playing to an empty house. That’s her message, and food is her medium.”

Gloria Aronson took her family to Chez Panisse six years ago. “My first time having persimmons as a garnish on a salad — sliced thin. I do that with my own salads now, when they’re in season. We had our table right near the kitchen, and when we finished, they asked if we wanted to have a tour. Two years ago, my daughter Kendra self-published The San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market Cookbook, and left a copy for Alice at the restaurant. Alice made a wonderful comment that Kendra could use in her marketing. She sold 10,000 copies.”

Margeurite Gifka followed Waters into the business — and beyond. After learning restaurant work in New Orleans, she cooked at a fancy dude ranch in Montana, “with all this amazing produce that we could just go and buy. The most gorgeous vegetables. You let whatever you have talk to you. ‘Let’s take these celery leaves and make an Italian salsa verde. Then maybe pick up a piece of fish to serve with that, and maybe some celery root to tie the two together.”

Today, she’s a food coordinator at Third Avenue Charitable Organization. “We serve two meals a week to the community. There’s a church garden that grows beautiful greens for us, and we pick up donations from Albertson’s three times a week. So it’s very seasonal: we get what’s available, and that determines what we make.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Ralph + Advil = “Radvil”

Kwillipers would be a pretty cool name for a cat
Next Article

San Diego in books - first Datsun dealer to sell 100 cars in a month, Bob Woodward on Belushi

La Jolla's historian, Edmund Wilson on the Hotel del Coronado
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close