Alice Waters

The Evolution of Alice Waters

When Alice Waters opened the doors of Chez Panisse, her “little French restaurant” in Berkeley, California, in 1971 at the age of 27, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape—Alice least of all. Fueled in equal parts by naiveté and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers. 

In conversation with Joe Yonan on October 26, food and dining editor for the Washington Post, Waters shares stories and recipes, and discusses her evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.

Alice Waters

Alice Waters

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One Life: Sylvia Plath
Evening Program
Tues., Sept. 12 at 6:45 PM
Sylvia Plath was one of the most dynamic and admired writers of the 20th century. Curators of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, One Life: Sylvia Plath, present an overview and discuss Plath’s struggle to understand her own self and to navigate the societal pressures placed on young women during the 1950s.

T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot: Daring to Disturb the Universe
Evening Program with Reception
Thurs., Sept. 28 at 6:45 PM
September is a time to celebrate the birth of perhaps the greatest 20th-century poet, T.S. Eliot. To pay tribute to the author of The Wasteland and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, author Daniel Stashower explores Eliot’s life and legacy, and actor Scott Sedar offers dramatic readings of his works. Afterward, we will raise a toast and perhaps even “dare to eat a peach.”

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn: On Life, Love, and Spirituality
Evening Program with Book Signing
Tues., Oct. 10 at 6:45 PM
Celebrated journalist Sally Quinn's life is also the story of modern Washington during some of its most turbulent years. This evening, Quinn sits down for a wide-ranging interview with Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and journalist and author Elsa Walsh.

Oscar Wilde

The Wit, Works, and Woes of Oscar Wilde
Evening Program with Reception
Mon., Oct. 16 at 6:45 PM
On the anniversary of playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde’s birthday, explore the complex man who declared that he put his talent into his writings and his genius into his life. Afterward, enjoy a slice of birthday cake and a glass of sherry and raise a toast to the man who wrote, “I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”

Nature's Triumph

Untangling the Legend of Lionheart
Evening Program
Thurs., Oct. 19 at 6:45 PM
Was Lionheart a brave warrior and a hero of the tales of Robin Hood or a vicious killer and failed monarch? The truth about King Richard I is plucked from the tangle of legends in this entertaining program.

Bronte Sisters

Secret Selves: Charlotte and Emily Brontë
Evening Program
Tues., Nov. 28 at 6:45 PM
Charlotte and Emily Brontë lived a small, isolated family home in an English village, far from literary circles. Author John Pfordresher examines the forces of creative imagination and personality that nonetheless allowed them to cast a critical eye on the issues of their time through passionate female characters—who often resembled their creators.