The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series features Nora Pouillon, local DC chef, restaurateur and organic foods pioneer discussing her new memoir My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today (Knopf).
About My Organic Life:
A wonderfully engaging memoir from the woman who founded America’s first certified organic restaurant, My Organic Life is the story of an unheralded culinary pioneer who made it her mission to bring delicious, wholesome foods to the American table.
While growing up on a farm in the Austrian Alps and later in Vienna, Nora Pouillon was surrounded by fresh and delicious foods. So when she and her French husband moved to Washington, D.C., in the 1960s, she was horrified to discover a culinary culture dominated by hormone-bloated meat and unseasonal vegetables. The distance between good, healthy produce and what even the top restaurants were serving was vast, and Nora was determined to bridge that gap.
First as a cooking teacher, then as a restaurant owner, and eventually as the country’s premier organic restaurateur, she charted a path that forever changed our relationship with what we eat. Since it opened in 1979, her eponymous restaurant has been a hot spot for reporters, celebrities, and politicians—from Jimmy Carter to the Obamas—alike. Along the way, Nora redefined what food could be, forging close relationships with local producers and launching initiatives to take the organic movement mainstream.
As much the story of America’s postwar culinary history as it is a memoir, My Organic Life encompasses the birth of the farm-to-table movement, the proliferation of greenmarkets across the country, and the evolution of the chef into social advocate. Spanning the last forty years of our relationship with food, My Organic Life is the deeply personal, powerfully felt story of the organic revolution—by the unlikely heroine at its forefront.
About the Author:
Nora Pouillon is a pioneer and champion of organic, environmentally conscious cuisine. Born in Vienna, Austria, Nora came to the United States in the late 1960s. She was shocked to discover the processed, chemical-laden foods Americans were eating, which she realized contributed to their health problems. That’s when she embarked on her crusade to promote a healthier lifestyle.