America has had a ‘Green Goddess’ for some time. Her name is Alice Waters and she was one of the first pioneer women in the area of sustainability. Alice is an organic trailblazer from Berkeley, near San Francisco. In the seventies she opened the students’ café Chez Panisse. Today the restaurant, which is known far beyond the American borders, hosts famous guests, such as the Clintons or the Dalai Lama. Even Jamie Oliver has made a culinary learning journey to the Green Goddess.
The concept of Alice Waters’ restaurant is simple: use as much of the food as possible, and waste as little as necessary! The shopping is solely seasonal, and she mainly does without exotic fruits and vegetables.
AUSTRIA MEETS CALIFORNIA
The young Austrian Bernadette Wörndl could discover herself, as she did her internship at Alice’s. There she learned how intensely one can focus on a product from purchase to kitchen.
Joint team tastings are a matter of course at the Chez Panisse. Alice and her employees regularly visit the farmers on the fields, in the orchards, or on the meadows, no matter whether it is about lemons, artichokes or carrots, chicken or fish.
Bernadette was so thrilled about this concept that she decided to write a book about sensible and sustainable use of fruits and vegetables. (German: ‘Von der Schale bis zum Kern’)
She personally finds it important to plant everything herself, even it’s just herbs or salad for balcony pots. She is convinced that we handle food more carefully when we sow and nurture ourselves, hence develop a certain respect and gratitude for the things that will go through our stomach one day.