Local Food Trailblazer Alice Waters Visits Traverse City

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Traverse City Tourism: Acclaimed author, farm-to-fork pioneer and legendary chef Alice Waters visits Traverse City, Michigan for a week of food-related festivities this September.

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Acclaimed author, farm-to-fork pioneer and legendary chef Alice Waters visits Traverse City for a week of food-related festivities beginning September 18th, culminating with her guest appearance at the National Writers Series (NWS) on September 24th. Cherry Capital Foods, a purveyor of Michigan-only food products, is sponsoring Waters' visit to NWS. The event, "A Conversation with Alice Waters," will be co-hosted by Traverse City chefs Jennifer Blakeslee and Eric Patterson of Cooks' House.

In the week leading up to the NWS event, restaurants from across the Grand Traverse region will be participating in a "Local Harvest Restaurant Series." Taste The Local Difference, Michigan's local food marketing agency, has organized the participating restaurants to either feature recipes from one of Alice Waters' cookbooks, or offer menu items that are 100% sourced from local ingredients. The parameters of the week long event qualify the inaugural restaurant series as an official Certified Local Food Event. (Pricing of the Local Harvest Specials is not “set” - will vary by restaurant.) A complete list of participating restaurants and featured dishes can be found at localdifference.org/localharvest.

Additionally, restaurants will be donating 10% of the proceeds from the Local Harvest Restaurant Series to be split between Alice Waters' non-profit, The Edible Schoolyard Project, and the Groundwork Farm to School program. Groundwork will be sharing a special Farm to School program video, profiling their important work in connecting schools and students to farms and food, right here in our region. The video presentation along with recognition of local program leaders will take place immediately following Alice Water’s NWS talk on September 24, 2017 - as well as just prior to the showing of a specially selected “foodie” film at The State Theater, on September 20, 2017.

About Alice Waters

Waters earned her chops as an early champion of food sustainability, opening the legendary Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California in 1971 at just 27 years old. Since its inception, the restaurant has boasted locally sourced, seasonal, and organic ingredients as well as an impressive clientele; among its ranks, the Dalai Lama.

In 1996 Waters planted the seeds (yes, literally) of what would become the Edible Schoolyard Project. A free lunch and food education initiative, what started with a single garden and teaching kitchen today services sixteen school districts and provides 10,000 meals per day.

A bestselling author to boot, Waters’ latest publication, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook takes readers through the tumult of the 1960s and into the formative years that led Waters to the front of the culinary vanguard. Kirkus Review described the memoir as a peek into “an almost charmed restaurant life that exhales the sweet aromas of honesty and self-awareness.”

Waters has received numerous accolades, including Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and inductee of the French Legion of Honor. In 2015, President Obama awarded her the National Humanities Medal.

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Jenny Jenness
Traverse City Tourism
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