DAN BARBER is the Chef of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit farm and education center, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times, along with many other publications. Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the country's Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.
To expand on his philosophy of cooking with sustainably grown, local ingredients, Dan has been working with such organizations as the Kellogg Foundation, Slow Food USA and Earth Pledge to minimize the political and intellectual rhetoric around agricultural policies and to instead maximize the appreciation of eating good food. Focusing on the issues of pleasure, taste and regional bounty-and how these imperatives are threatened-Dan helped create the philosophical and practical framework for Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and continues to help guide it in its mission to create a consciousness about the effects of everyday food choices.
He is author of the book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.
Dan Barber: Yeah overrated restaurants. I don’t know. I don’t know if I wanna pin someone on overrated restaurants. I mean I think all restaurants are overrated. That’s the problem. You know it’s like every restaurant that’s gotten great, you know, recommendation tends to come at it with a lot of exaggeration. And I don’t know if that . . . Is that my fault? Is it the public’s? Is that the eating public’s fault, or is it the media’s fault? I’m not really sure, but there’s something going on there that the expectation level is just too high and it’s always gonna disappoint. Which is why, you know, you hear . . . Nine times out of 10 you just hear, “I just like going to the informal place, you know, down the street. You know the place with the Mexican burrito and stuff.” Well of course you do because your expectation level is nothing, and it’s tasty food, and it meets the expectation, and it’s cheap. And it’s fun and informal and like, you know, it informs you and sustains you in a way that, you know, a big fancy restaurant can’t. So I don’t know. I find myself being disappointed by going out often, but I don’t know if it’s me just expecting a lot and then falling short. Or if it’s, you know, being played up before I get there? Recorded on: 2/11/08