In challenging the American throwaway culture built on entitlement and instant gratification, Alice Waters has changed the way we think about food
A time of unapologetic excess when shoulder pads are massive, hair a three-foot-high fire hazard, and meals are served on gleaming black charger plates the size of hubcaps. I’m standing at the back of the original Dean & DeLuca in Manhattan’s SoHo, where I’m working as the cookbook department clerk. Early one morning, before the rush – the gallerist Mary Boone buying a $10 tomato, Jean-Michel Basquiat trying to not fall into the chevre display – the front door blows open and a petite lady dragging a heavy, two-piece, cast-iron Tuscan fireplace grill huffs and puffs her way down the aisle to where my boss and I are waiting.
“I’m just back from Tuscany,” she says in a breathless pant, “and I’ve fallen in love with it! Can you find someone to make these over here?’