Deborah Madison: Greens Restaurant founding chef, author

Food writer and farmers market advocate, this '68, Cowell College, sociology graduate was founding chef of the legendary Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, one of the earliest restaurants to have a farm-driven menu.

February 22, 2011

By Andrea Cohen 

Deborah Madison

Deborah Madison was the founding chef of the legendary Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, one of the earliest restaurants to have a farm-driven menu. She is the author of 10 highly acclaimed cookbooks—including The Greens Cookbook and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone—for which she received the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Julia Child Cookbook of the Year award (as she also did for The Savory Way).

Madison has received the MFK Fisher Mid-Career award and three James Beard awards, and has been inducted into Who's Who in American Wine and Food. Madison is now widely known as a cook, writer, and cooking teacher specializing in seasonal vegetables that emphasize farmers' market produce and help connect people to the sources of their food. Her recent books include a Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets (2008); and What We Eat When We Eat Alone (2009), a humorous look at the secret pleasures of solo eating. Her latest book is Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market (2010). Madison also writes about food and farming for Gourmet, Saveur, Orion, and the blogs Culinate and Zester Daily. She is involved with school garden programs in New Mexico and is an advisory board member of the Santa Fe Food Bank.

"UCSC was a great adventure," recalls Madison, "only in its second year when I came as a junior. Alan Chadwick [founder of UCSC's Farm and Garden] was a major influence. He scared the wits out of me, though, when I first met him, running at me waving his arms and shouting that I was stepping on a bed (which I was not!)."

See Also