Cooking Like Alice Waters

The chef-activist Alice Waters believes a perfect peach can change the world. Her vision inspires these recipes.

"I have no idea what I was feeling, except an urgency to make things right for the opening," Alice Waters recalls in her new book about the day in 1971 when she launched her seminal Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse. Forty Years of Chez Panisse follows the visionary chef-turned-activist as she spreads her philosophy about local, seasonal eating "the Alice way"—tracking down rare Himalayan flowers to present to the Dalai Lama, for instance, and placing a beautiful peach in Bill Clinton's hand as he exited a fund-raiser. "I was sure if I fed the president a perfect peach," Waters writes, "it would bring him to a new understanding of the politics of food." Here, F&W's Grace Parisi creates fast recipes with peaches—"the most delicious food," Waters says.

Peach Primer

Alice Waters: Doughnut Peaches
Saturn "doughnut" peaches have sweet white flesh.
Alice Waters: White Peaches
White peaches are very sweet and super-juicy, with not much acidity.
Alice Waters: Yellow Peaches
Yellow peaches are a little tart and very flavorful. Ideal for baking.

Photos (l-r) © Stewart Waller, Pasmal/Amanaimagesrf, American Images Inc.

Alice Waters: A Timeline

Alice Waters: Launch
Courtesy of Alice Waters.

The Launch

Waters in front of the redwood sign for Chez Panisse in 1971.

Alice Waters: Working as a Waitress
Courtesy of Alice Waters.

The Job

In the restaurant's early days, Waters worked mainly as a waitress.

Alice Waters: Gardening
© Tina Rupp

The Garden

Waters pioneered the edible schoolyard garden movement in 2006.

Alice Waters Book: Forty Years of Chez Panisse
Courtesy of Alice Waters.

The Book

Chefs, academics, artists and farmers contributed to Waters's book, Forty Years of Chez Panisse.

video Video: Cooking with Peaches

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