When Alice Waters talks about improving school lunch, she doesn't just mean making the chicken nuggets more nutritious. She wants to see a table set, maybe with flowers. She wants children to have enough time to have conversations as they eat.
"There are lots of wonderful gardens that are happening in schools, and some progress is being made in the kitchens," Waters, chef-owner of the restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., said in the garden at Larchmont Charter School.
And eventually? She'd like to see high schools in which the students run the cafeterias and work in them alongside teachers and cooks. She'd like lunch to be served, for free, to everyone.
"That's a dream. We haven't gotten there yet," she said today at the Larchmont Charter School, an elementary school that served lunch to Waters, chef Mark Peel, City Council President Eric Garcetti and other guests to celebrate its affiliation with Waters' Edible Schoolyard program.