March is Women’s History Month, and that means it’s time to celebrate the amazing women who have changed the industry and paved the way for great innovation in food! From Julia Child, a cooking legend who made gourmet food accessible to all chefs, to Ruth Graves Wakeman, who dreamed up the now-classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, there are countless female chefs, bakers, and food mavens out there creating amazing new recipes and better ways to cook.
Another amazing woman who turned the restaurant industry upside down is Alice Waters, owner of the famed Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California. Waters founded her restaurant on the notion of using locally sourced, fresh, and mostly organic foods grown by local farmers. A champion of sustainable agriculture, Waters has been an advocate for the farm-to-table movement for over forty years. In 1995, she took her passion to a new level and founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, bringing sustainable free school lunches to children.
Alice Waters rose to success while staying true to her belief in natural goodness and sustainability. In addition to authoring 16 books, she has been honored with the National Humanities Medal, induction into the French Legion of Honor, the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, and a fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the vice president of Slow Food International and founder of both the Yale and Rome Sustainable Food Projects.
A trip to France in 1965 is what led Waters to her passion for fresh. Struck by how the French took daily trips to the bakery and market for delicious, homegrown foods, Waters knew she had found a better way of doing things. She finished her college years in Berkeley, deep in the throes of the area’s gourmet culinary revolution. When Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971, she offered a fresh, locally sourced four-course prix fixe meal to diners for just $3.95. Despite the growing pains faced by any new restaurant, the food at Chez Panisse and its notion of sustainable and fresh ingredients was a huge hit with the Berkeley crowd. Nearly 50 years later, it still is, and Alice Waters never wavered in her resolve to serve only the best.
The natural food movement is powerful, and it’s something Sweet Loren’s believes in wholeheartedly. Our all-natural whole-grain cookie dough is delicious, good for you, and good for the planet. We’re honored to be part of the food movement started by amazing women like Alice Waters.