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Alice Waters and José Andrés Talk Trump, Counter Culture, and Puerto Rico

The Bay Area’s grand dame of slow food talks with humanitarian chef José Andrés

Alice Waters and José Andrés
Kris Tripplaar/Washington Post

Alice Waters joined a conversation with chef José Andrés at the Washington Post this morning in Washington, DC. The two were discussing Waters’ years of advocacy (and new book, “Coming to my Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook”), and Andrés’ relief efforts in hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, where his team has now served two million meals.

Waters is the influential founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, while Andrés is the DC-based Spanish chef with 26 restaurants. Both are world-changers, committed to changing the way people eat through their various foundations, including Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project, and Andrés’ World Central Kitchen.

A few highlights from the talk:

  • In her book, Waters said that though she considered herself counter culture, she could never be a hippie because of the way they ate. “Ugh, skins on the carrots.”
  • Andrés, when asked if he had something he’d say to Donald Trump: “I can’t say anything to one person; we have to keep everything between all of us. The constitution doesn’t say ‘I the person,’ it says ‘we the people.’”
  • Andrés described his first visit to Chez Panisse almost twenty years ago, where he ate a dessert comprised of dates and (unpeeled) tangerines. “That’s when I realized the power of Alice Waters.”
  • As she mentioned during her keynote address at the recent Cherry Bombe Jubilee, Waters wants school lunch to become an academic subject, e.g. serving dishes for lunch that correlate with academic subjects like tabbouleh during lessons on the Arabian Peninsula. “That’s the way to reach children.”
  • “Alice Waters couldn’t be a man, she had to be a woman. I do believe we need to put more women in the top of decisions to improve the world to come,” said Andrés.

Check out the full video here: