Revolutionary chef Alice Waters to visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, America’s most famously epicurean President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  - Monday, April 16, 2012
Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529

Alice Waters, photograph by David LiittschwagerCharlottesville, Va.—Revolutionary chef Alice Waters will visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, April 19 and 20, 2012, as part of a celebration of Jefferson’s legacy as a farmer and our most famously epicurean President. 

Waters’ visit precedes Historic Garden Week in Virginia and the launch of Peter Hatch’s new book A Rich Spot of Earth” Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello. Alice Waters wrote the foreword for “A Rich Spot of Earth,” which debuts during the “National Book Launch: An Evening with Peter Hatch”, April 23, 2012, on the West Lawn of Monticello.

In the foreword Waters writes, “We desperately need to reconnect ourselves to the pastoral and self-sufficient tradition that Jefferson built; nothing is more vital than returning this tradition to the very heart of American culture.”

Thomas Jefferson was known as a gardener, farmer, and a connoisseur of food and wine. Jefferson left a lasting impression on culinary, garden, and landscape history of the United States—his interests and tastes are still celebrated today. Plants from Jefferson’s garden have a special place in Michelle Obama’s own White House kitchen garden. 

Often referred to as a “revolutionary,” Alice Waters is recognized for championing sustainable agriculture and local food.  She is a passionate advocate for a food economy that is “good, clean, and fair.” Over the course of nearly forty years, her restaurant, Chez Panisse, has helped create a community of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures the restaurant a steady supply of fresh and pure ingredients.

Chez Panisse will prepare a meal for the Monticello Cabinet, the heart of philanthropic support for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.  The private dinner will be cooked and produced by Chez Panisse Restaurant and friends including: Mona Talbott along with Nathan Alderson, Blake Bachman, Alexis Delaney, Susan Gage, Maira Kalman, Christopher Lee, Cerise Mayo, Lauren McIntosh, Varun Mehra, Nico Monday, Charlotte Moss, Jean-Pierre, Denise Moullé, Amelia O’Reilly, Scott Peacock, Mia Ponce, Austin Fausett, Peter Bowyer and Harrison Keevil.

Waters will also host a public book signing and will sign copies of her most recent publications, Thursday, April 19, from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Monticello Museum Shop located at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center. Waters’ recent books 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, In the Green Kitchen, The Art of Simple Food and Edible Schoolyard will be available for purchase at the Monticello Museum Shop. The book signing event is free and open to the public.

Waters is Vice President of Slow Food International, a nonprofit organization that promotes and celebrates local artisanal food traditions and has 100,000 members in over 130 countries. She is the author of eight books, including The Art of Simple Food: Notes and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution.

The book signing at the Monticello Museum Shop will be open to the public and media. Any media inquiries or visits need to be arranged with Lisa Stites, lstites@monticello.org or (434)984-7529.

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