Monday August 1, 2011
Kate Coleman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports: Amid the flurry of hundreds and thousands of resumes descending upon the transition team for President-elect Barack Obama is a letter from Alice Waters of Chez Panisse volunteering her services - and those of Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl and New York Union Square restaurateur Danny Meyer - to be the first couple's informal "kitchen cabinet" on all things culinary, from recommendations for a new White House chef to overseeing the creation of a sustainable, organic kitchen garden on the White House lawn.
In the letter, sent the day after the election, Waters wrote passionately: "At this moment you have a unique opportunity to set the tone for the changes we need to make in the way our country feeds itself. The purity and wholesomeness of your campaign can find a parallel in the purity and wholesomeness of the food at America's most visible and symbolic address: the White House."
A White House garden.
Waters is not alone in sensing that the newly elected, allegedly arugula-loving president is the perfect vehicle for national food reform. His switch to local, organic, seasonal food would lead the way in fighting America's epidemic of obesity and diabetes stemming from processed food, chemicals and eating too much from the wrong end of the food chain. Author Michael Pollan envisions a White House Victory garden a la Eleanor Roosevelt's, while EattheView.org pictures a White House and its lawn ripe for planting.