Chef Name: Dan Barber
Title: Chef/Co-Owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
James Beard Award, Best Chef, New York City, 2006.
James Beard Award, Country’s Outstanding Chef, 2009.
Named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, 2009.
World’s 50 Best Restaurants Chefs’ Choice Award, 2018.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
I started cooking after college – it was really just a way to buy time before I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I wanted to be a writer but I ended up going from one kitchen to the next and at some point it just sort of stuck.
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
My aunt’s scrambled eggs – whisked over a double boiler and finished with pounds of butter and herbs. Next to my father’s scrambled eggs, which were rubbery at best, it was such a clear illustration of culinary technique.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
Jean-Louis Palladin and Alain Ducasse are two that immediately come to mind – chefs whose sense of taste borders on superpower. Palladin could tell a lamb’s age by the layer of fat on its kidney. Ducasse could predict which pasture a cow was grazing on by tasting its butter. Just absolute Jedis in the kitchen.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
Much Depends on Dinner by Margaret Visser, and The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. They’re both prose books – recipes to conceive and construct a meal from the ground up.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
And who would you take as your guest?
My wife, Aria.
What do you look for in a good chef?
Curiosity and athleticism.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their paths now?
Seek out the best chefs in your town or city and work with them. Or travel somewhere to do that. Then do it again (and again).
Chef Dan Barber is Chef and Co-Owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Address: 630 Bedford Rd, Tarrytown, NY 10591, United States.
Telephone: +1 914-366-9600
Photo Credits: Richard Boll, Daniel Krieger, Andre Baranowski, Ingrid Hofstra.