Alice Waters inspires at Ecology Center
Touring the grounds of The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, California cuisine pioneer Alice Waters delighted in the native plants, herbs and fruit-bearing trees. “This is an oasis,” she told Ecology Center founder and executive director Evan Marks. Waters made a historic first visit to Orange County in June to host the farm-to-table Green Feast, aiding the center’s effort to bring edible gardens to Southern California schools and raising more than $250,000.
Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom, Tod and Linda White and Lisa Argyros were among the 200 sponsors and guests who gathered to dine on a meal prepared by Waters and her chefs from Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. The seasonally driven meal included chilled tomato soup, goat cheese souffle with garden lettuces, grilled wild California King salmon and baked stuffed apricots with vanilla parfait. Local chefs including Greg Daniels, Jason McLeod, Paul Buchanan, Rich Mead, Cathy McKnight, Debra Sims and Ryan Adams volunteered in the kitchen.
Also attending were Jim and Sheila Peterson (Microsemi), Kelly Hallman (Center for Living Peace) Steve Churm (FivePoint Communities), Pat O’Connell and Evan Slater (Hurley), Tristan and Bill Maris (Google Ventures), and Maya Patel (Tarsadia Foundation).
Steve Kosowski of Irvine’s KIA Motors America has been a repeat Green Feast sponsor. “The food is always so good. These chefs are like magicians,” he said. Volunteer chef and sustainable food activist Paddy Glennon said Green Feast’s ultimate goal is to educate people about Waters’ ethos – back to nature and locally sourced. “We live in a broken food system. What she speaks of is going back to the beginning,” he said.