There are very few stories as appealing as “local boy makes good,” and Dan Barber’s success is no exception. Born and raised in New York City, Dan attended the French Culinary Institute before opening his first restaurant, Manhattan’s Blue Hill, in the spring of 2000. Blue Hill has long been considered one of the best restaurants in New York City, just as Dan has been considered one of the best chefs not just in the city, but in the world.
In 2002, Dan was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs,” and he is the recipient of three separate awards from the James Beard Foundation: the 2006 award for “Best Chef: New York City,” the 2009 award for “Outstanding Chef,” and the 2009 title of “Top Chef in America.” Also in 2009, Dan was named as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”
Following on the success of Blue Hill in Manhattan, Dan opened Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York in 2004, on the property of the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture (a non-profit farm established by David Rockefeller and his daughter, Peggy Dulany).
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Dan has written numerous articles about food and agricultural policies, and his thoughts have been published in the New York Times, Gourmet magazine, The Nation, Saveur magazine, and Food & Wine magazine. The articles are centered around his belief that we should maintain a level of consciousness when it comes to our food choices and the sustainability of our food, and Dan abides by those principles at Blue Hill.
The menu at Blue Hill can best be described as “farm-to-table contemporary American,” and it includes offerings such as curried zucchini and almonds with sunflower seeds, raspberries and onion-bacon broth; grilled peach with fennel, watermelon and tomato; farm-fried egg with potatoes, pig’s belly, shiitake mushrooms and garden greens; chicken wings with wax beans, whole-grain mustard and parsley; lightly-smoked tomato soup with nectarines, cheddar and buckwheat, and stone barns pig with field radish and concord grapes.
At Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Dan utilizes the bounty of the surrounding farmland to create elegant, refined dishes that change day-to-day, and in both cases, his commitment to sustainable dishes that draw as much as possible from local resources is clear.