The Joy of Fat

Dan Barber: We’re serving . . . We’re gonna start the meal with Lardo that we’ve cured from Stone Barns. It’s delicious fat, and ironically it’s probably the last place we should start the meal . . . the lover’s meal, but we’re gonna have . . . We brought this like little tweezers, and the waiters are gonna go around to all our diners and have a slice of just cured fat. You have to stick out your tongue and put a slice of cured fat on, right? So it’s a little gimmicky, you know whatever, and a little corny as you said, but you know it gets people in the mood of Valentine’s Day. Plus it’s a local . . . It’s a local . . . It’s our own pigs and they’re delicious, and it’s a way to sort of have fun with it. And we sort of have honey that we harvested in the fall from Stone Barns. We have almost like 300,000 honeybees, and so we made this incredible floral honey. And so we’re gonna warm it up a little bit, have these like paint brushes and go around and paint a person’s hand with a little bit of honey. So you’re gonna have to suck your hand to start, and then there’s gonna be a shooter of sort of champagne tonic to start the meal. So it’s fat, and then there’s honey. So sweet and fatty for the new year . . . I mean for the lover’s year or whatever. I don’t know. So yeah, so the meal is sort of in that. It’s like a little bit fun and, you know, romantic and not so serious.

Recorded on: 2/11/08

Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill constructs a lover's feast.

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A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

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  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

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Image: Dicken Schrader
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