Anecdotes save the day!

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When Waters, who graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967, opened the restaurant in 1971, full of ideas and dreams from her time spent studying in London and traveling in France, she said she didn't have the same commitment to sustainable products that she does now, instead focusing just on serving French-inspired "delicious food." She even grimaced when asked about the wooden panels made from redwood trees outlining Chez Panisse's second-floor walls, although she quickly added that the bottom floor was made from recycled lumber.


What I liked most about this profile was the fact that the author did not focus solely on what Walters has done recently in terms of organic food. Although Cox makes it very clear that Walters strives to make organic food more appealing for young people, he included a lot of, somewhat unnecessary information, such as anecdotes from old co-workers. Although I called them "unneccessary," what I really mean to say is that they actually add to the story very nicely. The create a nice break between all of the facts about Walters' life as a chef. 

I think my favorite part about this profile was the anecdotes featured in the story. "I looked at her and said, 'Alice, this is crazy. Then she said, 'as Elizabeth David said, 'good cooking is trouble'" Bertolli remembered, laughing. "She would ask me to do crazy things." That quote really helps the readers to better understand Walters not only as a cook, but also as a person as well. This aspect is very important, because it helps readers to remember that even celebrities are people too.

Having said that, I'm not sure I really like the lead of this profile. In fact, I have to admit that it threw me for a while--I had to reread half of the story after I read it the whole way through to understand why the ducks are significant. I know introducing the person being profiled is very important, but I just feel like describing a truck filled with nine-week-old ducks doesn't do the trick...

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