Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish

Dan Barber is a chef and a scholar — relentlessly pursuing the stories and reasons behind the foods we grow and eat.

Why you should listen to him:

Dan Barber is the chef at New York’s Blue Hill restaurant, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester, where he practices a kind of close-to-the-land cooking married to agriculture and stewardship of the earth. As described on Chez Pim: “Stone Barns is only 45 minutes from Manhattan, but it might as well be a whole different universe. A model of self-sufficiency and environmental responsibility, Stone Barns is a working farm, ranch, and a three-Michelin-star-worthy restaurant.” It’s a vision of a new kind of food chain.

Barber’s philosophy of food focuses on pleasure and thoughtful conservation — on knowing where the food on your plate comes from and the unseen forces that drive what we eat. He’s written on US agricultural policies, asking for a new vision that does not throw the food chain out of balance by subsidizing certain crops at the expense of more appropriate ones.

In 2009, Barber received the James Beard award for America’s Outstanding Chef, and was named one of the world’s most influential people in Time’s annual “Time 100″ list.

“Dan Barber is increasingly becoming known as a chef-thinker, popularizing simple ideas that upend the way people think about the food we eat.”

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Quotes by Dan Barber

  • “I said, ‘Don, what’s sustainable about feeding chicken to fish?’”Watch this talk »
  • “For the past 50 years, we’ve been fishing the seas like we clear-cut forests. It’s hard to overstate the destruction. Ninety percent of large fish, the ones we love — the tunas, the halibuts, the salmons, swordfish — they’ve collapsed.”Watch this talk »
  • “It takes fifteen pounds of wild fish to get you one pound of farm tuna. Not very sustainable. It doesn’t taste very good either.”

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