To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact


Follow the Rhythms of Nature: Seasonal Eating

Alice Waters

Lesson time 15:06 min

Learn why the most iconic dessert at Chez Panisse is the most unembellished—the fruit bowl. Alice teaches you how to engage all of your senses to test ripeness and choose fruits at the peak of their season.

Alice Waters
Teaches The Art of Home Cooking
In 16+ lessons, learn to cook beautiful, seasonal meals at home from the James Beard Award-winning founder of Chez Panisse.
Get Started


The idea of serving simply a bowl of fruit at Chez Panisse seems audacious to some people. But I embrace that audacity. You don't need a restaurant or a copper bowl. I challenge you to find what is perfectly in season and ripe, and then just slice it, taste it, and serve it. - The writer Michael Pollan came to the restaurant a while back, and he was looking down to the desserts at the restaurant, and he saw the galette, and he saw the profiteroles with huckleberry ice cream. And then he saw a fruit bowl. He said, it almost costs as much as the sweet desserts. What could this be? And at that time, it happened to be peach season. And so he had the peaches from Mas Masumoto's trees. And we had sorted peaches very, very carefully. And we only want the ones that really make an impression. So we had the peach there in slices. And he took one bite. And it was unforgettable for him. He talks about the fruit bowl all of the time. And that's exactly the effect I want to have. I'm going to put together a fruit bowl that we serve at Chez Panisse every day. It's about how we go about choosing the food that we serve at Chez Panisse, and the food that I cook at home. Now I have these persimmons-- the fuyu persimmons-- right in my backyard. I have two trees. And so I have the opportunity to pick the leaves from the trees. And they become part of this fruit bowl. And I just want to make sure that they are ripe. I always cut them and taste them. You're tasting, and you're tasting, and you're tasting. And food is a living thing. And so you really have to-- to know that after it's picked, it's always changing every day. And so you're always wanting to taste first. So I'm-- oh, I'm thinking definitely I want to put this on the fruit bowl. I, of course, at this moment in time, in the fall, I thought surely there are grapes. But I went looking for them. And in fact, there's only this varietal of grape. And when I take a really close look at it, I realize that it was picked some time ago. You can see the little stems have turned brown. And even though it's a beautiful organic fruit, it doesn't look alive to me. I'll taste it just to make sure that it's not worthy of the fruit bowl. But I love the look of it. I like different shapes. And so I brought it anyway. I think we will make these into sherbet. They are not good enough to put on the fruit bowl by themselves. In fact, they're a little tart. And for sherbet, that can be a very good thing, because you're adding sugar to it. And-- and then you can bring forth the taste a little bit more. Let's see what we'll put in there besides the persimmon. I think maybe a pear. Now again, there are many, many, many, varietals of pears, and of apples. This is a bosc pear. And it has a very distinctive texture. It's much more firm. It's much harder. But actually it's quite delicious, quite tasty. And it should be kind of juicy. You'll know whether a fruit is ripe just by tasting. I...

Farm-to-table cooking

Alice Waters started America’s farm-to-table revolution. When she founded the iconic restaurant Chez Panisse, her local, organic ingredients sparked a movement and earned her the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. In her first-ever online cooking class, Alice opens the doors of her home kitchen to teach you how to pick seasonal ingredients, create healthy and beautiful meals, and change your life by changing the food you make at home.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Chef Waters not only taught me the importance of having a garden but also what to look for each season to bring out the best flavors in your dish.

Taking this class during Covid19 has served as meditation in the midst of the unknown. It was a great reminder of how precious each food item is, deserving of my utmost care. Great class.

Alice Waters has opened my eyes to the artistry of food and the pure nurturing it provides those we care to open our homes and hearts to. My husband and I cook together and it is pure love. Watching and learning from Alice feels like I’ve journeyed to a place that while I’ve never seen, I can recreate in my home.

Still watching and love every minute. I wish I didn't work so hard so I can watch every day!


Rumiko I.

Fruits are very colourful and look fresh! It is joy of our daily life. It is rewarding to learn seasonality of fruits and vegetables. Thank you.


Is there a way that MasterClass could update the workbook to include a seasonality chart that is broken down by season and produce in them? Or maybe add a PDF of seasons+appropriate produce?

A fellow student

As a line cook of no more than 4 years in the industry, I've been more eager to learn about seasonality, about the fruits and vegetables at their peak, when they taste the best, because that's how it's going to produce the best tasting food with little effort on your part. I love this episode (but the whole class too) because it inspires me to just be more aware of what I'm cooking with and what I'm buying, so that ultimately you can just enjoy the best Nature has to offer! <3 So, thank you!

A fellow student

reminds me that i should go back to Berkeley and eat at CP. I've forgotten how great her food is.

Chris and Scarlett F.

I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this class. I have loved cooking from an early age (10 years) and have tried all sorts of international cuisine but living in southern Spain and being surrounded by an abundance of local grown ingredients in season over the last 20 years has been an absolute joy. Alice completely sums this up and no more so than in this lesson.

Regina D.

Can you imagine if we knew what grew in season and how to cook it?; If we thought that way and prepared food that way? That is how we were made to operate in cooperation with nature. What a gift. What a real connection to nature, to discovery, and ourselves. Alice truly touched my heart and made me believe like she said she hoped we all would. This was a moving lesson.

A fellow student

All of Alice's lessons have been superb, this one particularly got to me though. I had never thought with seasonal cooking before, I've heard it referenced numerous times but I now have a full conceptual understanding of what it means and how it works and it makes so much sense and I'm excited to cook/eat in this way. It's was a stabilizing piece of information I was missing that now aligns so much of what's around me. Thank you so much Alice Waters!

Nicolas S.

LOVED this chapter...does everyone know where to get the recipes for the seasonal menus listed in the video and the cookbook?

A fellow student

I love watching her, its so meditative. I love her pace of speaking and the things she explains, almost love poetry like... This is why I don't think I enjoyed her daughter very much, she was nice but gave it a little bit of a youtube home made video feeling.

Graeme R.

So brilliant and exciting. I wish there was a calendar of fruits and vegetables for our area (Western New York) so that we can know what to look for at the public market or Wegmans.