Chef, author, & proprietor of Chez Panisse
“I was 22 years old when I first trained to be a Montessori teacher, and Maria Montessori’s philosophy has remained vital to me all my life: Children learn best through experience. The senses are the pathways to our minds—and when a child’s senses are activated, knowledge floods in.
“I had this interactive pedagogy in my heart when I started the Edible Schoolyard program, which creates organic garden- and kitchen-classrooms in urban public schools. When students come into the garden-classroom for their math class, they are measuring the vegetable beds—they are doing math by osmosis, effortlessly absorbing their lessons. This is the beauty of a sensory education—which is, at its core, a Montessori education: the way all the doors into your mind are thrown wide open at once.”
Alice’s Edible Schoolyard is nationally recognized for its efforts to integrate gardening, cooking, and sharing school lunch into the core academic curriculum. The Chez Panisse Foundation supports the Schoolyard and similar programs.
Through her restaurant and writing, Alice Waters champions the culinary philosophy that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients, sustainably and locally produced. Her 8 books include The Art of Simple Food: Notes and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution.
Photo: Courtesy Alice Waters