Image - Alice Waters

San Francisco

Alice Waters: We Are What We Eat

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Alice Waters is a true Bay Area icon and one of the most influential chefs of her generation. 

A long-time food activist, Waters first opened Bay Area local restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971 with the intention of feeding people good food during a time of political turmoil. Customers responded positively to the restaurant and its focus on locally sourced organic ingredients, delectable hand-made dishes, and wonderfully mastered hospitality. 

In pioneering a revolutionary approach to food preparation and service, Waters determined that the rise of fast food, frozen meals, and prepackaged ingredients were increasingly overshadowing the human qualities of eating and cooking. In her recent book We Are What We Eat, Waters urges us to take up the mantle of slow food culture. She writes this book as a declaration of action against fast food values and a working theory about what we can do to change the course. 

From years of working with regional farmers, Waters learned about the dangers of pesticides; the plight of fieldworkers; and the social, economic and environmental threats posed by industrial farming and food distribution. Thus she says every decision we make about what we put in our mouths affects our bodies and the world at large. By eating in a “slow way,” the philosophy at the core of her life’s work, Waters says we can be empowered to prioritize and nurture a different kind of culture, one that champions values such as biodiversity, seasonality, stewardship and pleasure in work.

Join us as Alice Waters teaches us how to change our relationship with food to unlock a radical reconsideration of how each of us cooks and eats.


This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Safety Protocols for in-person attendance:

• We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
• All guests, staff, and volunteers must be fully vaccinated. Guest must show proof of full vaccination with photo I.D.
Masks are required while indoors (if you do not have one and would like one, inquire at our front desk for a complimentary mask).
• In-person capacity is limited.

Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.

We welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programs.

Copies of We Are What We Eat are available for purchase of in-person tickets online and at the program.

Photo by Amanda Marsalis.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Tue, Jul 12 / 12:30 pm PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Alice Waters

Alice Waters

Chef; Founder and Owner, Chez Panisse; Author, We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto; Twitter@AliceWaters

Image - William Rosenzweig

In Conversation with William Rosenzweig

Faculty Co-Chair, Berkeley Haas Center for Responsible Business


11:45 a.m. doors open & check-in
12:30–1:30 p.m. program
(all times PDT)


$15 members
$35 members with book
$25 nonmembers
$45 nonmembers with book
Free for members
$10 nonmembers
$20 members or nonmembers with book