Dan Barber: What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

Dan Barber: My favorite gadget from the beginning of when I was cooking is a spoon – like the right size spoon. You know all the cooks think I’m crazy in both the kitchens at Blue Hill because I only have one size spoon that we use the entire time. Like you know there’s . . . In cooking kitchens you generally see like different stations have different sized spoons. Like big shuffles . . . shovel spoons depending on what your job is. I use one spoon, and I think it’s the right sized spoon for plating and the right sized spoon for tasting. It’s not too big; it’s not too small. And I want everyone to have the same consistency, because the spoon – whether you’re flipping a piece of fish, or a piece of meat; or you’re mixing vegetables; or you’re stirring rice or whatever it is, the spoon becomes an extension of your hand. You know the closest thing you can get to your hand where you’re in control of the food – really in control of the food. Like these tongs or these forks, like uck! They’re nowhere near the kitchen because they tend to have this relationship with food that’s very dispassionate and literally detached. Where as the spoon if you hold it close, you’re . . . you’re in control of . . . you’re mastering what you’re preparing. And I think that spreads itself out across the kitchens in ways that end up adding taste to your food.

Recorded on: 2/11/08

The right-sized spoon.

Live on Thursday: Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to your calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

US, Russia, China won't join global initiative to offer fair access to COVID-19 vaccines. Why not?

The U.S., China, and Russia are in a "vaccine race" that treats a global challenge like a winner-take-all game.

  • More than 150 countries have joined an initiative to develop, produce, and fairly distribute an effective COVID-19 vaccine.
  • But China, Russia, and the U.S. have declined to join in a bid to win the vaccine race.
  • The absence of these three economies risks the success of the global initiative and future collaborations.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Being in a frisky mood may improve your chances in the dating world

    Positive, romantic thoughts could produce positive, romantic outcomes while dating.

    Credit: 4 PM production on Shutterstock
    Sex & Relationships
    • Fear of rejection, self-doubt, and anxiety are just some of the obstacles humans need to overcome to make a meaningful, romantic connection with another person.
    • According to a 2020 project by a group of psychologists at the University of Rochester (and the Israeli-based Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), humans see possible romantic partners as a lot more attractive if they go into the interaction with a "sexy mindset."
    • Across three separate studies, this team discovered that this sexual activation helps people initiate relationships by inducing them to project their desires onto prospective partners.
    Keep reading Show less

    A new minimoon is headed towards Earth, and it’s not natural

    Astronomers spot an object heading into Earth orbit.

    Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Paitoon Pornsuksomboon/Shutterstock/Big Think
    Surprising Science
  • Small objects such as asteroids get trapped for a time in Earth orbit, becoming "minimoons."
  • Minimoons are typically asteroids, but this one is something else.
  • The new minimoon may be part of an old rocket from the 1960s.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Study reveals alarming link between binge-drinking and anxiety

    New research conducted on mice suggests repeated heavy drinking causes synaptic dysfunctions that lead to anxiety.

    Credit: Pixabay
    Mind & Brain
    • The study was conducted on mice, who were given the equivalent of five drinks daily for 10 days.
    • Images of the alcoholic mice brains showed synaptic dysfunctions related to microglia (immune cells in the brain).
    • The results suggest that regulating TNF, a signaling protein related to systemic inflammation, may someday play a part in treating alcohol addiction.
    Keep reading Show less