While Gael Greene weighs in on critics of Alice Waters, calling them “toxic misogynists” (“I wonder if Mother Teresa suffered such rage and rancor”), Ruth Reichl tells Leonard Lopate a bit more about the D.C. fund-raising dinners, organized by Waters and herself, that have been the subject of scorn. The point of them, says Reichl, was to “have a conversation and say, ‘How can we change things in this country so that eating great food is not just something that happens for rich people, but is a prerogative for everyone in the country?’” And Reichl thinks they were plenty successful, since she got to chat up Zeke Emanuel (brother of Chief of Staff Rahm) at one of them (only one of the “intimate” dinners, says Reichl, grew to 150 to 200 people).
So maybe now Obama will respond to the letter she, Waters, and others penned to him demanding that the position of White House chef be “used as a bully pulpit for good food,” among other things? (Reichl says she has yet to hear a peep from Obama.) As for former chef Walter Scheib’s criticism, Times writer Kim Severson points out that he has his own agenda: “Walter Scheib has a book to sell — it’s important for him to stay in the mix on this.” Well, better than calling him a toxic misogynist!