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Quid Pro Quo, Alice: Waters Accepted Ameya Shill?

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Oh shiz. Recall our report on Alice Waters's planned move to the Ameya Preserve, an ultra-luxe "green" housing community situated in Montana, where she'll be opening new culinary school? From our initial assessment: "Alice has even lent her name to the shill, and it's a hard one at that: The— brace— 2007 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book promises a dinner cooked by Waters herself to buyers who purchase a 10-acre, $2.3M plot on the expansive reserve. At $2.3M, that dinner better be damn well on par with the Last Supper." Has Alice Waters turned her coat completely inside out? Maybe so, sadly.

It seems that a savvy food blogger named Barbara Fisher may have broken the case. From her site, Tigers and Strawberries (via the Eatster):

"I think I may have figured out how she got involved with the Ameya Preserve project, though ... back in May on Michael Bauer' blog, Between Meals, there was a post announcing Alice Waters's involvement in Carlo Petrini's 2008 Slow Food Nation expo in San Francisco. The event promises to be fascinating, and full of food and fun and all that good stuff, but what I found most interesting was the mention, down near the end of the post, that the first major donation to Slow Food Nation was "a $500,000 gift from the Ameya Preserve in Montana, which is an 11,000-acre plot of sustainable land."Paging the Ethics Committee! To call Waters a "visionary" who revolutionized the way we think about and prepare food wouldn't be too much of an overstatement— that shouldn't be forgotten. But even Waters' most stringent fans have been calling bullshit on this one. The numbers are in, folks. Will Alice's foray in to real estate marketing (and possible shill accepting) truly alter her reputation? If so, how? · Is Alice Waters an Elitist Food Snob? [Tigers and Strawberries]
· Why is Alice Waters involved with the Ameya Preserve in Montana? [Ethicurian]
· Alice Waters Knows How to Return a Favor [Eater SF]
· Alice Waters' Involvement in Montana Housing Development: Slightly Confusing [Eater SF]
· Screw Socialism: Alice Waters Heads for The Hills [Curbed SF]