We mentioned last week that the great Ms. Waters was part of a joint cultural and diplomatic mission to China by a group of American celebrities, artists, and politicos, and that she had arranged a Chez Panisse-esque feast of local and organic food for the gang which happened at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Now the L.A. Times brings the full story of the meal, including Alice’s frustration at not finding any organic duck — they went with pig instead, which made some of the organizers of the event balk, given that such VIP affairs are usually lobster-and-foie-gras-type affairs. And Alice apparently insisted that the fluorescent lighting in the Embassy’s main hall be removed in favor of warmer tones, and candlelight.
Waters and her special-events chef Samantha Greenwood served a simple meal: a consommé with butternut squash tortellini; pork braised in red wine, with a green salad and a turnip purée; and an apple and candied-orange galette with honey ice cream for dessert. Predictably Chez Panisse. Also, they served the same Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs that President Nixon used to toast with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai on his famed trip in 1972.
Other takeaways: Michael Pollan cracked a joke, making a comparison between Berkeley and Beijing, “Both are socialist paradises.” And “Waters received permission to burn small bundles of rosemary in the courtyard to warm the atmosphere.” Heh.