Alice Waters Woos Maureen Dowd

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Sundays are good to Alice Waters. Last month, she was profiled on 60 Minutes. Yesterday, she took up much of Maureen Dowd’s Times column. It’s cool with Waters that she wasn’t invited to break ground at the White House vegetable garden, she told Dowd, considering that President Obama wants “to keep a kind of distance from me and from that whole celebrity chef” thing. After enthusing about Waters’s “radiant skin and her mesmerizing, hesitating arias,” Dowd asked the chef to respond to criticisms about the cost of slow food. “And so my first thing I say, it’s going to cost more and I want to pay for my food. I go to the farmers’ market; it makes me feel like I’m making a donation,” she explained. The recession could be the perfect time for people to learn cooking basics — taught by Waters on her dreamed-of TV show, The Green Kitchen — in a nonthreatening way: “We’re really trying to take the ‘ie’ out of foodie.”

The Aura of Arugulance [NYT]