Chef Dan Barber: The Third Plate (Podcast)

Craig McCord

Craig McCord › Craig possesses 23 guitars and cannot play any of them. He likes fresh grilled sardines with a ...


We have been privileged to know Chef Dan Barber for awhile now and every time we are around him we learn something new.

His leadership on important food matters has garnered him international attention. His kitchens at Blue Hill in Manhattan’s West Village and Blue Hill at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture are much admired.

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.

And now he has authored The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.

The Wall Street Journal describes the book as, “Fun to read, a lively mix of food history, environmental philosophy and restaurant lore… an important and exciting addition to the sustainability discussion.”

He challenges everything you think you know about food; it will change the way you eat. -Ruth Reichl

And The Atlantic writes: “When The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan’s now-classic 2006 work, questioned the logic of our nation’s food system, “local” and “organic” weren’t ubiquitous the way they are today. Embracing Pollan’s iconoclasm, but applying it to the updated food landscape of 2014, (Chef Dan Barber’s new book), The Third Plate reconsiders fundamental assumptions of the movement Pollan’s book helped to spark. In four sections—“Soil,” “Land, “Sea,” and “Seed”—The Third Plate outlines how his pursuit of intense flavor repeatedly forced him to look beyond individual ingredients at a region’s broader story—and demonstrates how land, communities, and taste benefit when ecology informs the way we source, cook, and eat.”

Author Ruth Reichl writes on the back cover of the book: “In this compelling read Dan Barber asks questions that nobody else has raised about what it means to be a chef, the nature of taste, and what sustainable really means. He challenges everything you think you know about food; it will change the way you eat. If I could giver every cook just one book, this would be the one.”

I chatted with Dan yesterday afternoon, he graciously took time out of his busy book tour to discuss this terrific work. Have a listen to what he has to say about the ‘whole farm’ concepts as well as other captivating subjects he covers so well.

He’s eloquent about something he’s created that is entirely new: a recipe for the future.

What will it take to change the negative things about our food system? Can it be done?

Photo credit: Craig McCord