Her award-winning restaurant Chez Panisse was a trailblazer for the farm-to-table culinary movement. In 1992 she was not only named Best Chef in America by the James Beard Foundation but was also the first woman to win the honor.
Edible Schoolyard project
Waters, a revered champion of local, reiterative agriculture, used her passion for fresh cuisine, respect for the environment, and experience as a Montessori teacher to create The Edible Schoolyard Project in 1995. The project, which advocates for a free regenerative organic school lunch and an edible education in every public school, has since spawned programs in more than 6,700 schools across the country and around the world.
National humanities Medal
A founder of the Yale Sustainable Food Program, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in 2015 for championing a holistic approach to eating, health, and sustainability through the connection between "the ethical and the edible."
Driven by her interest in the Montessori method of education—which emphasized learning through your senses with hands-on experiences of practical activities—the visionary food activist trained at the International Montessori School in London. Aligned with Maria Montessori’s idea that every person can discover something they excel at, she built her restaurant around this philosophy, allowing people the opportunity to excel in her kitchen. She continued to teach at Montessori schools while running Chez Panisse and when the time came for her to build the Edible Schoolyard kitchen and garden classrooms to teach all the academic subjects, she incorporated the Montessori methods as well, ensuring every aspect of the classroom educated and empowered the senses.
Alice Waters is a best-selling author with over a dozen books published, including her most recent, We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto. This book delves into her core philosophy around slow food culture and has manifested itself into her most recent collaboration on an Institute dedicated to "school-supported agriculture" at the University of California Davis that teaches the values that students need to live on the planet together; stewardship, community, diversity, equity, and nourishment.