USF’s 2009 California Prize Dinner

Renowned chef Alice Waters received USF’s 2009 California Prize for Service
and the Common Good during a dinner gala at the University of San Francisco
on Thursday, November 5.

The award was handed out during a ceremonial dinner under the stars in a transparent dome tent on the campus lawn-recognized service in pursuit of
the common good for society-at-large, and came with a $10,000 purse and
handcrafted medal.

Among the 270 guests at the event were Susan and Philip Marineau (former CEO
of Levi Strauss), Sharon McCarthy Allen, daughter of the late Leo T.
McCarthy, USF alumni Alberto Yepez and Teresa Win, Chuck Smith (former
president and CEO of AT&T West), Maura Morey, Joan and Bob McGrath, Steven
Read, Alfred and Sharene Chuang, Claudio Chiuchiarelli (Chair, USF Board of
Trustees) accompanied by his wife Joanette, and Ms. Alice L. Waters and
guests. All proceeds from the USF California Prize dinner will benefit USF
students in scholarships, internships, and community-based learning

Widely known as a champion of food grown locally, Waters is credited with
helping found the “slow food” movement that has revolutionized how many
Americans think about sustainable and organic agriculture. As owner of the
legendary Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, her influence is felt across
the country as she raises consciousness about how the food we choose affects
our health and our planet.

In 1996, Waters created the Chez Panisse Foundation to support educational
programs that use food to nurture, educate, and empower young people.
Through The Edible Schoolyard and the School Lunch Initiative, the
foundation works toward a public school curriculum that includes hands-on
experiences in school kitchens, gardens, and lunchrooms, and provides
healthy, freshly prepared meals for students as part of each school day.

For Alice Waters, USF’s California Prize Dinner celebration started off a
bit early with an impromptu visit to USF’s student-run organic garden (per
her request) on USF’s Lone Mountain campus. Ms. Waters toured the Garden
Project, and was delighted to hear that all herb plants used as that
evening’s centerpieces will be donated to the Garden Project and planted for
continued use.

Waters’ work clearly embodies one of the core values of USF – to “apply
knowledge to a world shared by all people and held in trust for future
generations,” said Anne-Marie Devine, USF director of media relations. Her
commitment to bringing nutritional education to those who would normally not
receive it corresponds with the way USF encourages our students to channel
their intellect and abilities towards changing underserved communities from
the inside out.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this year’s California Prize for Service
and the Common Good from the University of San Francisco,” Waters said.
“This award recognizes the work of the Chez Panisse Foundation and shows
that the university supports a school curriculum that gives students the
knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future.”

“Alice has championed an understanding that raising and preparing what we
eat is both an ethical exercise and an acknowledgement that we share the
earth’s resources and hold it in trust for future generations,” said USF
President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. “She has worked tirelessly to introduce
school children to responsible food production and healthy eating,
especially those in underserved communities.”

During the celebratory evening, attendees enjoyed the following menu

Amuse Bouche
Spicy Cauliflower Soup
(recipe from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters)
Domaine Achard-Vincent, Clairette de Die Brut, Rhône, France NV

Salad Course
Morning Pick of Heirloom Organics Baby Greens with Gabrielle Farms Asian
Pears and Rising C Ranch Three Citrus Vinaigrette
Leccia, Vermentino “Patrimonio Blanc” Corsica, France 2006

Main Course
Slow Braised Marin Sun Farms Grass-Fed Beef Short Ribs with Stone Ground
Grits, Caramelized Gabrielle Farms Apples
and Brussels Sprouts
Faury, Saint-Joseph Rouge “VV”, Rhône Valley, France 2006

Dessert Course
Simplest Gabrielle Farms Apple Tart with House-Made Creme Fraiche
(recipe from the Fruit Cookbook by Alice Waters)
Chateau Roumieu Lacoste, Sauternes, France 2001

Bob McGrath and Joan McGrath
Bob McGrath and Joan McGrath
Lee Flagg, Sue Marineau, and Dana Marineau
Lee Flagg, Sue Marineau, and Dana Marineau

It was a delightful evening enjoyed by all who attended! For exclusive event photos, visit our events page!