April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Alice!!

It is no surprise to anyone who knows me even casually that I am president of Alice Waters and the Edible Schoolyard's fan club.
Alice has been so fundamental in my culinary sense and development. As I have become a Mother and grown in my own career as a Chef, I have seen first hand the magic in her philosophy and the work that has been the passion of her life.

I work with kids for whom it has been a big deal to get to go to Mc Donalds. I cook for these kids and their families, who's lives have been filled with nothing but processed foods. These families come to Seneca for help and counsel and I am the lucky one who has the privilege of introducing them to the freshest, local fruits and vegetables. Foods that they never have seen let alone tasted from organic farms grown locally in season. The looks on their faces when they first see an heirloom tomato with its tiger stripes and funky irregular shape! Then, finally, when they screw up the courage to try the thing......a sweet smile of amazement fills their faces as drips of tomato juice drip down their eager chins and I am filled forever and reminded why I do what I do!!

Both my parents, food mavericks in their own ways, and Alice are responsible for this. My career, my joy in the farmers at the markets hawking their home grown wares with the excitement of a new parent, my amazement in sharing my world with my own precious daughter Lucia, my deep appreciation for my sweet husband Troy who's motto since meeting and wooing me has become "shut up and eat it, it will be wonderful", and my devotion to sourcing the best for "my kids" at Seneca.....all of this, I give up to Alice.

Alice.......with all of my heart, thank you for your determination. Thank you for your commitment to all of our children and putting the future of food squarely in their eager hands. And lastly, thank you for your patience, for 30 years, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.

Happy Birthday Alice!!