Chez Panisse Foundation (CPF).
Cultivating a New Generation
The Chez Panisse Foundation envisions a school curriculum and school lunch program where growing, cooking, and sharing food at the table gives students the knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future.
In the News
We are thrilled to announce that Academy Award® nominee, Jake Gyllenhaal has joined The Chez Panisse Foundation as an Ambassador for the Edible Schoolyard program. Mr. Gyllenhaal has offered his support to help raise awareness for the program and to encourage other schools to adopt the model for Edible Education.
“We are so lucky to have someone so charismatic and thoughtful who cares deeply about the philosophy of Edible Education. As an acclaimed actor, Jake has the ability to help us reach people in communities all around the world.” – Alice Waters Donate Now!
Join Our Team
The Chez Panisse Foundation is currently seeking enthusiastic individuals with a dedication to edible education to join our team. Click here to learn more! The Edible Schoolyard is seeking a new Administrative Coordinator.
… Who We Are
In 1996, Alice Waters, pioneering cook, restauranteur, and food activist, created the Chez Panisse Foundation in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. The Foundation supports an educational program that uses food to nurture, educate, and empower youth.
Mission & Vision
The Foundation envisions a public school curriculum that includes hands-on experiences in school kitchens, gardens, and lunchrooms, and that provides healthy, freshly prepared meals as part of each school day.
Our mass consumer culture has created an unprecedented crisis of diet-related disease among our nation’s youth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as a result of diabetes and obesity, this generation may be the first to die younger than its parents. Not only are children eating unhealthy food, they are absorbing the values that go with it: the notions that food should be fast, cheap, and easy; that abundance is permanent; that it’s ok to waste.
While we did not begin our work with the obesity epidemic in mind, comprehensive programs such as ours are an effective way to reach children, especially those at greatest risk. Over the past ten years, we have worked to establish groundbreaking models in the Berkeley Unified School District: the Edible Schoolyard and the School Lunch Initiative. Learn more about our work.
Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California in 1971, serving a single, fixed-price menu that changes daily. The set menu format remains at the heart of Alice’s philosophy of serving the most delicious organic products only when they are in season. Over the course of three decades, Chez Panisse has developed a network of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures the restaurant a steady supply of pure and fresh ingredients.
In 1996, in celebration of the restaurant’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Alice created the Chez Panisse Foundation. The Foundation is committed to transforming public education and supports projects that integrate gardening, cooking, and the sharing of a daily school lunch into the core academic curriculum.
In 2003, Alice helped conceive the Yale Sustainable Food Project with the goal of making food an integral part of the academic experience at the university level. By supporting small-scale, organic farmers in the Northeast who care for the land, Yale hopes to set an example of responsible eating for institutions around the country.
A board member of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Alice is a national advocate for farmers markets and for bringing organic, local food to the general public. She is also the Vice President of Slow Food International, a non-profit organization that promotes and celebrates local, artisanal food traditions, threatened by fast food and a faster pace of life, in 44 countries around the world.
Alice is the author of nine cookbooks, including Fanny at Chez Panisse, a story book with recipes for children, and The Art of Simple Food. Her life and work has been the subject of various documentary and feature films, as well as a best-selling biography published by Penguin Press in the spring of 2007.
Staff & Board
Marsha Guerrero, Affiliate Director
David Prior, Communications Director
Krissa Nichols, Operations Manager
Josh Cohen, Administrative Assistant
The Edible Schoolyard Staff
Esther Cook, Chef Teacher
Kyle Cornforth, Director
Sasha Harris-Lovett, Garden Education Fellow
Wendy Johnson, Garden Consultant
Monica Linzner, Assistant Chef Teacher
Jonah Mossberg, Assistant Garden Teacher
Geoff Palla, Garden Manager and Teacher
Shaina Robbins, Program Coordinator
Board of Directors
Susan Andrews serves on the Board of Directors of several Northern California private elementary schools, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Eva Leah Gunther Foundation.
Mark Buell, a renowned political activist, serves on the Boards of Directors of San Francisco Conservation Corps and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Mark is Board Chairman of the Chez Panisse Foundation.
Katrina Heron is a writer, editor, and independent book-packager. She has been Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, and a senior editor at the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and the New York Times Magazine.
Sherry Hirota is Chief Executive Officer of Asian Health Services (AHS), in Oakland, CA. She was a member of the California Endowment’s Board of Directors for ten years, and is an appointed member of the Advisory Committee on Research on Minority Health.
Christina Kim is the founder and owner of dosa, a fashion house in Los Angeles, California, where artisanal textiles are recycled into sophisticated, contemporary clothing and housewares.
Martin Krasney is a Trustee of Marin Country Day School, a Trustee of the Urban School in San Francisco, and the Treasurer of the Compton Foundation.
John Lyons is the President of Production at Focus Features, and an advocate for Edible Schoolyard programs in New York City.
Sally Wilcox is a literary agent at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, President of the Board of 826LA, and serves on the National Advisory Board of 826National.
… What We Do
We believe every child has a right to fresh, healthy food. And we believe public school is the best place to provide it. Like physical education programs—established forty years ago in response to a presidential commission concerned about the fitness of our nation’s youth—food education and access to fresh, healthy food must become part of the public school experience. The Foundation has developed three program areas to support this vision.
School Lunch Reform
A strategy to transform the quality of school food nationwide, and a model school lunch program in the Berkeley Unified School District. Learn more >
The Edible Schoolyard
A model garden and kitchen program on the grounds of a public school, where students learn the connections between food, health, and the environment. Learn more >
The Edible Schoolyard Affiliate Network
A small network of model programs which demonstrate that the Edible Schoolyard can succeed in a diverse set of climates and communities, and through a variety of funding streams. Learn more >
… What You Can Do
There are many ways to support our work. Whichever option you select, your generous contribution makes it possible for the Chez Panisse Foundation to provide access to fresh, healthy food and food education in schools. Donate Now >
Make your voice count too! Let your congresspeople know you support better school lunches by signing Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution petition.
Make a Donation
The Chez Panisse Foundation is a publicly-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your tax-deductible donation provides public school children with nutritious meals and an experiential education that fosters respect for the community, the planet, and themselves. Donations may be restricted by program, or to an element within a program. All donors are recognized in our annual report.
Contribute online or call 510.843.3811 for more information.
Spread the Word
The Chez Panisse Foundation is advocating at the local, state, and national level to transform school lunch. Please support this effort for all our children by contributing to the Chez Panisse Foundation.
Take a moment to spread the excitement about Edible Education by sending a message to your friends, family, and coworkers.
Thank you for your support.
Attend our Events
From fundraising events to community work days and training workshops, we offer multiple ways to learn more about our work, connect with our community, and support the movement. See Events >
Our flagship program, the Edible Schoolyard, offers several ways to engage with our program. Learn More >
The Chez Panisse Foundation has created a suite of publications to document what we have learned through 12 years of operating the Edible Schoolyard, and three years of school lunch reform in Berkeley. Purchasing our publications supports the work of the Chez Panisse Foundation and the Edible Schoolyard.
To purchase our publications, please visit our new online store. Prices do not include shipping & handling.
- Ten Years of Education at the Edible Schoolyard — $20 Ten Years of Education at the Edible Schoolyard distills the history and philosophy of our flagship program, and lays out the essentials (everything from sample start-up budgets to a tool shed inventory) of how to engage children in edible education. Ten Years is helpful for program coordinators, community members, and others interested in creating programs like the Edible Schoolyard.
- Principles of an Edible Education: A Vision for School Lunch — $10 (OUT OF STOCK)Principles of an Edible Education: A Vision for School Lunch shares with community leaders, educators, and parents the five principles that have guided – and continue to inspire – our vision for school lunch in Berkeley, and in lunchrooms across America.
- The Kitchen Companion: Inside the Edible Schoolyard Classroom — $20The Kitchen Companion: Inside the Edible Schoolyard Classroom is for educators who want to understand the tangible and intangible pieces that make our kitchen classroom tick. It includes material lists, job descriptions, class activities and routines, notes on how we connect the kitchen to the classroom, sample recipes and resources, and more.
- The Garden Companion: Inside the Edible Schoolyard Classroom — $20The Garden Companion: Inside the Edible Schoolyard Classroom is for educators who want to learn more about how to make the most of the garden as a classroom. It includes material lists, job descriptions, class activities and routines, notes on how we connect the garden to the classroom, and other resources.
- Making Mathematics Delicious — $30 for set of 3Making Mathematics Delicious is designed for middle school math teachers. It offers a set of rigorous hands-on math tasks tied to standards in the context of the kitchen and garden.
- What You Need to Know about School Lunch — $10What You Need to Know about School Lunch demystifies the forces controlling the National School Lunch Program, and gives policymakers, educators, and parents strategies for how to change school lunch in their communities.
- Lunch Matters — $5Lunch Matters: How to Feed Our Children Better is a policy paper that describes the changes we made to school lunch in Berkeley. Policymakers and food service directors will be interested in learning how much our lunches cost, more about our participation rates, and how we were able to get one hundred percent of our vendors to cook fresh food for all kids in Berkeley.
- Raising an Adventurous Eater: Ideas & Inspiration from the Edible Schoolyard — $10Raising an Adventurous Eater: Ideas & Inspiration from the Edible Schoolyard gives parents ten ways to help their children love healthy foods. It is based on an excerpt