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Music for Eating, Growing: Alice Waters' KCRW Guest DJ Set

Waters visiting her Edible Schoolyard site in L.A. recently with City Council President Eric Garcetti (Photo via Twitpic)
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Although predominantly synonymous with the Bay Area and its Slow Food movement, Chef, author, restaurateur and Edible Schoolyard maven Alice Waters is sharing with SoCal's KCRW her 5 picks as part of the Santa Monica station's Guest DJ program. Starting with Nina Simone's "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl" is an ideal foodie choice, and Waters says she plays it while she's cooking in the kitchen of Chez Panisse, noting the tune is "so beautiful and so deep in its sensual appeal, and adding that "offering somebody something that's nourishing and delicious is offering somebody love. It is. The parents who take care of their children and people who really feed their friends -- it's a beautiful thing."

Other pics include Radiohead's "Reckoner," which she got turned on to at a concert in Golden Gate Park, and David Byrne's "Independence Day," which she says she listened to a lot during the Obama campaign and election. Waters points to Jefferson Airplane's "Volunteers" as emblematic of the political movement in Berkeley years ago, and concludes her set with Youssou N'Dour's "Tan Bi." This song to her has a beautiful simplicity she can equate with her own hallmark philosophy of simple food:

I think it's so important that food is cooked simply and tastes of what it is. To pick those ripe tomatoes and do as little as possible to them. I put them on the plate a little olive oil, a little salt maybe, a torn piece of basil and it's just the best possible dish I could eat. And I think it does really feel like the music of Youssou N’Dour.

You can read a full transcript of the set, download the podcast, or hear the songs on her list via KCRW's Guest DJ webpage. Waters' Edible Schoolyard is currently in place in one Los Angeles charter elementary school, with plans to launch a second in a local middle school.