Alice Waters speaks with the cadence of a poet. She talks of food the way one might of a treasured companion, with warm reverence. And while she is most associated with California, her formative experiences happened here, in Chatham, NJ. Alice Louise Waters was born in April 1944, the daughter of a stay-at-home mom with a love for gardening and brown grains and a father who worked for Prudential and who adored jazz and coconut cake.
“I grew up at a very different time,” Waters reflects, pausing as if to examine a memory. “I grew up before the birth of industrial farming and fast food, and before television. I really had a different experience as a child. I played in the woods. My town was surrounded by woodlands and swamps and I never went inside. I was connected to nature.”