A few weeks ago, I invited Alice Waters for Shabbat.
The legendary chef-owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, a longtime friend, was in town to work with me on a fundraiser for Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen, two organizations that feed the less fortunate in Washington, D.C., where I live. It seemed only natural to invite Alice and the other visiting chefs to my home for a Shabbat dinner—a meal I’ve prepared my whole adult life. It’s an invaluable opportunity to open my home for people to enjoy hearty food, good conversation, and a connection to Judaism. It’s also a chance to include non-Jewish friends in the experience, so filled with the universal themes of shared sustenance and faith, and it’s a moment to unplug from our otherwise wired existence and, for a few hours at least, to appreciate the occasions where time does not seem to matter.