Review of Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution

Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution
by Diane Stanley; illus. by Jessie Hartland
Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp.    g
1/22    978-1-5344-6140-6    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-6141-3    $10.99

Through Chez Panisse, her renowned Berkeley, California, restaurant (which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2021), chef Alice Waters began a “food revolution [that] changed the way people everywhere—from home cooks to great restaurant chefs—think about food.” Influenced by her early travels and culinary adventures in France, Waters created a small restaurant in an old house and went about cooking in the French spirit: one set menu that changed daily, and the best local produce she could find. Stanley creates child appeal by opening her story with young Alice in 1948 in her family garden in Chatham, New Jersey, enjoying the freshest summer fruits and vegetables—strawberries, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and lettuce. When fall comes, however, the family must eat processed food, frozen or canned in factories. The contrasts are clearly depicted in bright, naive-style gouache illustrations that support the clear prose here and throughout the accessible, enjoyable book, a repeat collaboration for author and illustrator (Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science, rev. 1/17). Back matter provides more information about Waters and her Edible Schoolyard initiative; a timeline; and an excellent bibliography that includes works for adult and child readers. Pair with Waters’s own picture books (Fanny at Chez Panisse and Fanny in France) and with Martin’s Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Dean Schneider
Dean Schneider teaches seventh and eighth grades at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

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