My Organic Life:
How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today
by Nora Pouillon with Laura Fraser
Nora Pouillon’s highly anticipated memoir, My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today, is now available in paperback with the addition of some of Nora’s recipes.
Signed and personalized copies of Nora’s Memoir, in paperback or hardcover and copies of Cooking With Nora are available at Restaurant Nora. Please contact email@example.com or (202) 462-5143 x23.
For more information about My Organic Life and to order online, please visit www.norapouillon.com.
A wonderfully engaging memoir from the woman who founded Restaurant Nora, America’s first certified organic restaurant–the natural foods pioneer who, earlier than anyone else, made it her mission to bring organic foods to the American table.
The current proliferation of organic food and farm-to-table cuisine owes its existence to this mostly unheralded, groundbreaking woman who changed the way we eat as few others have. Growing up on a farm in the Alps, she was surrounded by fresh food–delicious produce and meats that had never been touched by artificial pesticides or hormones. When she and her husband moved to the United States in the 1960s, she was horrified to discover a food culture dominated by hormone-bloated meat and unseasonal vegetables. The distance between good, healthy produce and what even the top restaurants were serving was enormous. Determined to make a difference, first as a teacher and then as the country’s premiere organic restaurateur, she charted a path that forever changed our relationship with what we eat. Spanning the last forty years of our culinary history, My Organic Life gives us the remarkable life of a little-known hero of the organic revolution.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR NORA & MY ORGANIC LIFE
I loved reading this revealing and entertaining memoir from the Godmother of the organic food movement. Chef Nora’s appetite for life and story behind how she cooked up and created the nation’s first organic restaurant and the sacrifices she made along the way is a tale every working mother should read.
James Beard Foundation
This is the best book, I can’t stop talking about it! A mutli-sensory experience, Nora serves up a another delicious organic feast that you will just love. Like all her great meals, she chooses to share quality moments, and lets you taste them fully. The result is the chance to fully experience My Organic Life and savor the memory as you would a delicious organic meal at Restaurant Nora. As Nora invites us along in her story – versus preaching about health and food – she offers the chance to learn firsthand what has happened to our food and health, and what one can and must do to be part of the solution. I want everyone I know to read this book.
RD award-winning nutrition expert & author
Implicit in Nora’s insistence on quality organic ingredients is care for the family, friends and customers who are nourished at her table. She has extended this deep care and respect to the Earth and to the farmers and ranchers who steward its resources. Whether working to shorten the distance between high integrity producers and like-minded eaters, undertaking a journey that resulted in the nation’s first certified organic restaurant, or raising her voice to advocate for sensible food policy, Nora Pouillon is a revolutionary and a vital presence in our modern food culture.
Executive Director/CEO, Organic Trade Association
Reading Nora Pouillon’s riveting memoir is like eating in her restaurant: a feast for the senses, with sentences and stories so deep and flavorful you can almost taste them. Her book is a memorable tour de force that reminds us of what a pioneering influence Nora has been, on so many levels, since she first set up shop with her (then-crazy) ideas about organic cooking nearly forty years ago.
chairman, president & chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company
Nora takes us on a delicious journey of food memories while bravely and candidly sharing personal and professional stories of her early life in Vienna during the war, adventures throughout Europe and her path to opening the first certified organic restaurant in the country, Restaurant Nora in Washington, DC. Nora’s drive, dedication and passion about whole, organic foods has fueled a much needed movement that is felt all around the country, as well as in Washington, DC.
Nora sparked this food revolution long before anyone was thinking about it, and in doing so inspired decades of other chefs, thought leaders and innovators to change our food system. Nora’s compelling life story of how she changed our food system takes us back to the origins of this sustainable food movement. She’s not only a thought-provoking chef, but a great writer.
How does a young girl growing up in war-torn Vienna become the visionary woman who effectively led the movement toward using only fresh, healthy and local ingredients and whose own namesake restaurant would become the first to be certified organic. Thankfully, Nora Pouillon brings us along on this journey in her memoir “My Organic Life…” Told with verve, honesty and refreshing modesty, each page celebrates a zest for life and provides a piece of the puzzle that ultimately discloses the Nora we know today.
Chairman, National Geographic
Long before organics were on store shelves, before farmers markets were sexy and before farm-to-table was a thing, Nora created a food revolution in her kitchen and the surrounding farmlands. This book tells the remarkable tale of where good food really began.
Trustee, James Beard Foundation & Co-Founder, Chef Action Network
As founder of America’s first organic restaurant, and tireless advocate of local food systems (not to mention a brilliant chef), Nora Pouillon is one of the pioneers of the Food Movement.
Author, Cooked; Food Rules; In Defense of Food; The Omnivore’s Dilemma; The Botany of Desire; A Place of My Own and Second Nature
Nora’s wonderful story closely parallels the important rise of organic food in our country and provides hope that this commitment to responsible food will continue to be a choice for more and more Americans.
CRAFT, Top Chef
In a sparkling memoir, the founder of Restaurant Nora tells of making her own journey into the food world.
From her earliest days growing up in the Austrian Alps, Pouillon was exposed to simple, fresh food. When she came to the United States with her French husband in the 1960s, she was appalled by the drab produce and packaged, processed food found in American supermarkets. A book by British food and cooking writer Elizabeth David introduced her to the importance of fresh, seasonal and natural ingredients and essentially launched her on a new career path. Pouillon quickly learned to cook and then moved on from making dinners for friends to launching a catering business, teaching cooking classes in her kitchen, and becoming chef of a new restaurant, the Tabard Inn, in Washington, D.C. Spurred by the need to earn a living—she had left her husband—the author joined with two partners to open Restaurant Nora in 1979. Finding financing was one problem, and finding local, pesticide-free produce was another, but Pouillon met her challenges head-on. As a measure of her success, in 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country; in 2010, it was chosen as the site of a surprise birthday party for Michelle Obama. Much more than a memoir of one woman’s career in food, the book also provides a picture of the growth of the organic food movement in the U.S.—a movement that Nora is still very much a part of. She organizes farmers markets, brings chefs and farmers together, works with consumer advocacy groups, and attends conferences at home and abroad. Pouillon’s story is also a feminist one, showing a woman with young children dealing with a failed marriage, working successfully in a male-dominated business and helping other women to succeed in it.
An inspiring account and great fun to read.
Nora Pouillon knows food—delicious, healthy and sustainable food—but she also represents the modern story of food in America. Her inspiring personal tale of turning a passion for food into both a career and cause—as she became a leading entrepreneur and a champion of organic food—parallels the nation’s changing relationship with its food supply. A nation is what it eats, and to understand what and how America should be eating now, we need Nora Pouillon.
Author & Journalist, Mother Jones
Nora Pouillon is the Rachel Carson of our generation, a thinker and actor who has transformed the American food supply. She pioneered a new cuisine based on organically-grown food—and when she couldn’t find ingredients that met her high standards, she created a sustainable farming industry to produce them. Her pursuit of excellence has taught the public that great food can be healthy and vice-versa. She believed, early on, that we don’t have to settle for chemical-coated food to enjoy variety and beauty on our tables. If it weren’t for Nora and all those she has educated, I doubt the mid-Atlantic would be blossoming with farm stands with a bounty of gorgeous local and organic fruits and vegetables.
President & Co-Founder, Environmental Working Group
The forces against Nora were huge. The industry put up millions to prevent Nora’s from becoming the country’s first organically certified restaurant. Agribusiness was one of the biggest lobbying forces in the U.S. and Nora was the nurturer of the movement for the Department of Agriculture to create a USDA seal labeling organic food. It was very cool to have someone glamorous like Nora to be the spokesman.
Author & Journalist, The New York Times
In this candid memoir, renowned chef Nora Pouillon tells the story of how she created Restaurant Nora, a Washington, D.C. landmark, and, more importantly, how she raised the consciousness of Americans about the quality of food and the importance of eating and living organically. I consider her a true pioneer of the organic movement and inspiration for leading a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Andrew Weil
Doctor, Teacher & Author, True Food Kitchen