The O.G. gardener

Sacramento Speakers Series presents Alice Waters

photo courtesty of aluce waters

When it comes to being a pioneer in her field, Alice Waters is the Grandmaster Flash of food activism, the Steve Jobs of the local-produce movement, the O.G. of organic gardening. In other words, she's a badass. With growing awareness about where our food comes from and the increasing popularity of farmers markets, her philosophy—that good food is simple, natural, locally produced food—may not seem so revolutionary nowadays. But she opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley over 40 years ago, right around the time when fast-food chains like Taco Bell were an exciting novelty and not just the place you make your cabbie drive to on the way home from the bar.

The author of more than a dozen cookbooks, Waters was deemed the best chef in America by the James Beard Foundation in 1992. She convinced first lady Michelle Obama to plant an edible garden at the White House and, in 2009, she was awarded the French Legion of Honor (does it get more badass?). All this after opening her restaurant back in 1971, at the age of 27.

Chez Panisse is now something of a national landmark in the world of food, and Waters' Edible Schoolyard project, aimed at teaching school-age children the importance of nutrition and the value of producing your own food, has expanded across the nation. Waters' insights are sure to be more relevant and timely than ever in the recently minted Farm-to-Fork capital. $210-$450 series subscription only, (single tickets are not available) at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23; at the Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street;