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The Center For The Arts Presents In Conversation with Alice Waters

Friday, September 8th, 2017 8:00 PM The Marisa Funk Theater

Moderated by Beth Ruyak

Reserved seating:
$67 members, $70 general public


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(Ticket price includes $2 facility fee for in-person events where applicable. Fees for online purchases may apply. Members:Login to receive your discounts at checkout.)

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley,

California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school. She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007. Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007; the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008; and her induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change. Alice is the author of fifteen books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.

Beth Ruyak 

Beth’s first boss called her the “neophyte newsie,” but he taught her the basics of broadcast writing and how to take the work one-interview-at-a-time. She found her way from newsrooms in Minnesota to California, and still, the career kept her moving. Covering news, sports, science, health, arts and entertainment, Beth worked as a reporter, anchor, producer, and writer. She hosted daytime television, magazine shows, special events and live coverage. Among the highlights of her career: sideline reporting from 5 Olympic Games and Super Bowl XXV, traversing Europe for 3 Tour de France bicycle races (becoming the first woman television journalist to cover the event), co-hosting “The Home Show,” and guest co-hosting “Good Morning America.” Her news, sports and health reporting have earned Emmy awards and opportunities to interview, learn from and tell stories about people all over the world.

As host of “Insight” Beth delights in the opportunity to communicate and converse in the region she calls home. People ask her about the differences between television and radio broadcasting; she says she tries to fill in the visuals with language, sounds, voice and imagination. To Beth, being part of the Capital Public Radio team is a privilege, an adventure and a great reason to go to work everyday. Of course, so is the dance as she calls it, with the guests and audience on “Insight.”

New York Times interview with Alice Waters

Zinfandel tasting and appetizers inspired by Chez Panisse
with book signing and meet and greet with Alice Waters

Food by Alan Tangren

Joel Peterson – Ravenswood
Randle Johnson – ArteZin Winery
Bill Easton – Easton Wines
ZAP – Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel

Alan Tangren and Julia Child in the kitchen at Chez Panisse

Alan Tangren
Born and raised in California, Alan Tangren’s interest in food was fostered early on. As a child he spent the summers on the Bierwagen farm in Chicago Park, where his great-grandparents had settled in 1902. The primary activity at the farm was the growing of tree fruit, particularly peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, and pears. On the farm Alan learned to appreciate the qualities of the wide variety of fresh, perfectly ripe fruits available from the orchard. And his happiest hours were those spent at his grandmother’s side in the kitchen.

Turning his interest in food into a life, Alan worked with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse from 1982 until 2004. He cooked in the upstairs café, on the salad and pizza line, and later helped supervise the café kitchen. He also spent several years cooking in the downstairs restaurant with Chef Paul Bertolli and Alice.

From 1991 to 1997 Alan was the forager for the café and restaurant. As forager he initiated and sustained relationships with many of the farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers, who with their high quality products helped shape the style of cooking at the restaurant. He was responsible for assuring the quality and integrity of the ingredients, and for coordinating their use on the daily-changing menus of the café and the downstairs restaurant.

In 1997 Alan became co-pastry chef for Chez Panisse. In that role he was responsible for planning dessert menus for both the restaurant and the café, their execution, and for obtaining the organic produce and other ingredients used. The Chez Panisse menu typically includes cakes, tarts, custards, cookies, ice creams and confections, all made with fresh fruits and nuts.

From 1984 to 1991, while at Chez Panisse, Alan was sous chef for the Great Chefs program at the Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley of California. There he worked alongside many well-known chefs of the nouvelle cuisine of France, including Gaston Lenotre, Paul Bocuse, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, Georges Blanc and Alain Chapel. He also worked with North American chefs Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton, and Bradley Ogden.

In 2004 Alan moved back to the family farm to start a cut flower business. For the last four years he has also been teaching cooking classes at Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley.

Simple food, farm life and deliciousness – Chef Alan Tangren’s life comes full circle

Joel Peterson – The Godfather of Zin
Always a vino-revolutionary, Joel Peterson took his first big steps toward personal independence in 1976. Educated as a clinical laboratory scientist with a degree in microbiology, the Oregon State University grad was working full-time in cancer immunology research at a San Francisco hospital and dabbling with wine on the side. The two single-vineyard Zins the longhaired winemaker made from the 1976 vintage would be the first he unveiled to the world.

Today, Joel works with 100+ northern California growers who provide grapes for Ravenswood, consulting on irrigation methods, cultivation practices, cropping levels and a slew of other vineyard management.


Randle Johnson
A native Californian, Randle Johnson attended the University of California, Davis with the intent of becoming an M.D. but destiny changed his plans. Randle discovered a passion for winemaking and graduated with a M.S. in Viticulture. He honed his art and skill at The Hess Collection, producing award winning Cabernet Sauvignon for 20 years and earning his unofficial title, “The Wine Doctor.”

A true champion of heirloom varietals, those that come from a vine and/or clonal material that has been handed down for generations or hand-selected by growers for a special trait, he began producing Zinfandel and practiced his craft until it truly became an art. With the creation of Artezin, Randle honors the heritage of these grapes, the growers who tend to them, and their place in the history of California winemaking.

Bill Easton
Owner winemaker, Bill Easton puts his family name on their non-Rhône varietals wines. The wines are crafted from varietals that have traditionally worked the best in Amador County and the Sierra Foothills: ancient and old-vine Zinfandel, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Under the Easton label they also bottle small selections of varietals new to the Sierra Foothills: Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.

The style of their red wines emphasize deep color, balanced flavors, full middle palate, and a long finish, with power and finesse that gain complexity with age. Their whites are aromatic, flavorful with nice texture, and balanced with good acidity. They also show an amazing mineral sense that is derived from stony mountain soils.


About ZAP
ZAP envisions a world where Zinfandel is the most celebrated American wine.  Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is dedicated to advancing public knowledge and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in culture and history.  ZAP actively involves hundreds of wineries and thousands of wine enthusiasts. Together they are achieving national and international understanding of Zinfandel as America’s grape, serving as innovators and industry leaders in the world of wine.  ZAP relies on members to keep the story and significance of Zinfandel and its rich heritage alive and vibrant.

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