The saga surrounding Alice Waters' involvement in the controversial Ameya Preserve housing project continues. Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Waters—who supports the purchase of the development's $2.3 million homes in a town where the average pricetag is $150K to the point that she'll cook a gourmet meal for anyone who buys a new house—chalked up her involvement to a substantial ($500,000) donation to the Slow Food Nation by the Ameya Preserve. Today, the WSJ issued a correction saying that most of the money didn't actually go to Slow Food:
Wade Dokken, a developer of the Ameya Preserve housing development in Paradise Valley, Mont., paid $100,000 to Slow Food Nation, a nonprofit organization founded by San Francisco Bay area restaurateur Alice Waters in exchange for her help in guiding plans for a cooking school on the property. Mr. Dokken would pay an additional $400,000 directly to Ms. Waters and not Slow Food Nation for additional consulting services under terms of an unsigned contract. Based on erroneous information provided by Mr. Dokken and Ms. Waters, a Nov. 16 Weekend Journal article on new "politically correct" developments incorrectly said that Mr. Dokken pledged $500,000 to Slow Food Nation in exchange for Ms. Waters's participation.The reason these revelations continue to be a source of disappointment is because Waters is our local heroine of sorts. Sure, most big-name chefs go corporate in some form at some point, but the reason Chez Panisse is special—especially here in the Bay—is precisely because it isn't mired in the muck of money. From local farmers to local diners, Waters represents (present tense) the essence of an egalitarian community; to sell out for a housing development in Montana of all places—and an elitist one at that—is just, well, sad.
· Corrections & Amplifications [WSJ]
· Politically Correct Developments [WSJ]
· Alice Waters Knows How to Return a Favor [~ESF~]
· Alice Waters' Involvement in Montana Housing Development: Slightly Confusing [~ESF~]