Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, in cooperation with Blue Hill restaurant, is helping to change the way America thinks about food. Food has a huge impact on our society. We’ve grown accustomed to consuming all types of food at any time of the year, allowing our collective appetite to dictate what we grow rather than the land to dictate what we eat. This creates a complicated and unsustainable national demand on our agricultural industry.
The 80-acre Stone Barns Center is on a mission that goes beyond growing healthy and sustainable food. They strive to create a system for production that can be replicated worldwide – with the objective of rebuilding communities through farming.
Dan Barber, executive chef at Blue Hill, and his brother David are co-owners of this innovative enterprise located in New York State and founded around the philosophy that the best food – the finest dining experience – comes from ingredients sourced locally.
The farmland here is managed with an eye on soil improvement – rotating crops and livestock as a means to improve, rather than deplete, the land’s productivity. Blue Hill staff works closely with Stone Barns Center Farm Director, Jack Algiere, to allow the land to determine what is served in the restaurant.
The dishes served at Blue Hill are dictated by the availability of those vegetable and fruit crops grown, along with the livestock raised, on the farm grounds. This is farm-driven cuisine, and Blue Hill has become one of the top dining destinations in the world.
Guests here are never offered a menu. Instead they are presented a four-hour meal event which includes up to 30 courses of recipes developed quite literally from the ground up. You don’t go to Blue Hill at Stone Farms for a quick bite before a movie. This is an experience to be enjoyed at leisure to truly appreciate how nature and epicurean skill can create magic. Sound decadent? That’s the point.
While meals here can be a life-changing experience, it’s the outreach of Stone Barns Center which resonates far beyond the dining room. Aspiring farmers and chefs from all walks of life come here to learn how to replicate these methods. There are additional youth and volunteer programs to engage and excite new generations about food and farming as well. The doors here are open to anyone seeking to learn, and the lessons taught will create a ripple effect on our growing and eating habits in the decades to come.
So, pull up a chair and prepare to dive in to a farm-to-table story that is like none other.