Today as I woke up to find out about Paul Newman’s passing, I thought about how much he touched so many different generations with his generosity and multitude of talents. My mother was a huge Paul Newman fan and she was the one who first introduced his name to me. I was born after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Cool Hand Luke were out in theatres, so my first memory of Paul Newman wasn’t as a movie star, but rather as a face on a salad dressing bottle. I still remember being at Safeway with my mother and seeing her so excited that Paul Newman had a salad dressing. She of course stocked up on it, and from then on, Paul Newman’s face became a staple in our refridgerator and our pantry with his salad dressings, pasta sauces, lemonade, and other all natural products.
In 1982, Paul Newman and his friend A.E. Hotchner started their food company, Newman’s Own. Listening to his daughter Nell’s requests, Paul Newman added organic food to it’s line up which became so popular, that in 2002, Newman’s Own Organics branched out in to it’s own company. What initially started off as making salad dressing as gift’s for friends, became Newman’s Own, which now offers over 150 varieties of all natural food and beverage products. The company donates all of their proceeds and royalties to charitable functions, and have donated over 250 million dollars since it’s inception.
Paul Newman’s love of the food industry did not stop with the Newman’s Own company. In 2006, he opened a restaurant with chef Michel Nischan, who is "an avid proponent of healthy, sustainable, and culturally significant food. Their restaurant, The Dressing Room, is " A Home Grown Restaurant, located on the grounds of the Westport Country Playhouse". Menu items include a Pancetta- Wrapped Day Boat Monkfish with braised red cabbage, pan-roasted peanut potatoes, and parsnip sage puree and the popular Chicken and Dumplings with brussel leaves, celery root, baby carrots, and sunchokes.
Today as we pay our respects to Paul Newman, he will be remembered not only as a huge screen legend, and film director, but as a man whose life touched so many others as a great philanthropist and food entrepreneur. Paul Newman introduced natural food in to the main stream, and his generosity with Newman’s Own and Newman’s Own Organics will continue to live on and positively touch many generations to come.
For More Information on Paul Newman’s Food Company, visit Newman’s Own
For More Information on Paul Newman’s Restaurant, visit The Dressing Room