Dan Barber: How has globalization changed the way we eat?
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:It seems to me that part of the problem with the American diet is that we have very little culture. We have very little food culture. We have very little food memory that informs our sort of everyday recipes. So we’re all around the world, which is part of the great, great excitement of eating in America. You know eating in New York City you can eat Indian one night and Chinese the next night. That’s sort of like part of the American experience . . . eating experience. The problem with it is that it doesn’t . . . I think it defies reality, and it defies tradition and history; and recent agriculture history, which is right outside our doorstep; and to the extent that like, you know, as an eater you have kind of, again, a responsibility to connect to the local agriculture tradition. I think it’s important. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with eating other cuisines or preparing them at home and then nothing. But my cuisine at Blue Hill . . . The food at Blue Hill is much more about what the landscape and ecological conditions can offer us than it is about being excited about a Turkish fig – which I am excited about, but in ways that don’t get me spending as much time as I would on that almond carrot. Recorded on: 2/11/08
There's nothing wrong with enjoying a Turkish fig, Barber says.
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