One of UC Berkeley’s best-known alumnae approaches her story with reluctance. So the famed restaurateur, who co-founded Chez Panisse restaurant and began a revolution in American food, says in an interview announcing her appearance tomorrow at the Free Speech Cafe.
The appearance is occasioned by the publication of her new book — her third — “Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook.” She will speak, in conversation with Heyday Books publisher Steve Wasserman, and sign books. The 6 p.m. event is being put on by the University Library.
Waters told library interviewer Tor Haugan that she wasn’t sure she had enough to say to fill a third memoir. But with a little encouragement, the memories spilled out.
In her book, Waters revisits her activism as a student at UC Berkeley during the heyday of the Free Speech Movement. She graduated in 1967 with a degree in French, before going on into her better known role as food icon.
“Alice Waters has dedicated her new memoir to the Free Speech Movement; she feels it enabled Chez Panisse,” Chancellor Carol Christ said. “Her reading, at the Free Speech Movement Café, will enable us all to understand this extraordinary conjunction.”
Waters still has a connection to the campus. In 2001, the Bancroft Library celebrated the acquisition of historical documents and photos from Chez Panisse, which still sets a national standard from its home at 1517 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley.