I know, long time no post. Explanations later: this is urgent because Somebody is going to be looking at my blog, or perhaps already has, and I need to look like I've been busy. Which I really have, but on a big project involving my favorite farm. Details to come.
This photograph is of Chef Dan Barber, serving people fortunate enough to attend a farm dinner at the not-completed Blue Hill Stone Barns, back in 2003. It is rare to see a chef serve tables, so this was particularly cool, according to the chef friend I went with, who studied at The French Culinary Institute, where Dan graduated in 1994. (Google is my friend.)
I can't resist the temptation to paraphrase Eve Babitz, in Eve's Hollywood, who has a chapter in her book called "I Met Cary Grant today." The entire contents of the chapter?
"I met Cary Grant today. He looked just like Cary Grant."
Well, I met Dan Barber today. He looked just like Dan Barber.
It wasn't the first time we'd met, but his fame now is meteoric, and deservedly so, because the man can speak.I just hoped he would remember me.
This will be brief, and more is coming tomorrow.
I traveled down to Farmer's Mecca today: the Ecological Farming Association's 29th annual conference, known to one and all as Eco-Farm. It's the best place on earth to be, in my book: part reunion, part college, and as busy as a beehive with networking and excitement. Having eaten last night at Gabriella Café (first time in a long time: there's a new chef there who is really talented and nice), I persuaded owner Paul Cocking (also a friend) to go down with me to hear the Plenary Session, presented by three chefs known for their love and support of farms.
Celebrity Chefs Raise the Profile of Food System Sustainability
Dan Barber, Blue Hill Restaurant at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY
Annie Somerville, Greens Restaurant, San Francisco, CA
Judy Wicks, White Dog Cafe, Philadelphia, PA
In short, it was a cosmic blast for me. Dan is brilliant and funny and entertaining. He's like Woody Allen if Woody Allen had a molecule of cute. (Dan has several.) Lucky for me, I'd never heard the particular presentation he gave, though one version is available on YouTube. If you've never heard him speak, try these:
2. Dan Barber on carrots and castration, also at a Taste3 conference
3. Dan Barber on the transformative power of foie gras
After the presentation, Paul and I wandered down to the exhibition tent, and there was Dan. And a whole bunch of people I know, naturally, including Don Burgett, a fellow member of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden's board of directors. He told me that Dan had called the farm yesterday and gotten a hasty tour of the farm from Leon Vehaba and Bill Leland, also on the board. (Dan likes us, he really really likes us!)
There is more to come, but let me just whisper something VERY exciting to you all. The project is for the USCS Farm & Garden's apprenticeship program, and you can read all about it here very soon. And Dan Barber is involved.
Meanwhile, Dan...welcome to my little corner of the blogging globe. You're in these pages, and I'll write more soon. Thank you so much for the laughs and the brief chat today. I hope you enjoy your visit: check out the photos, please. That's really where my heart is.
This has been one perfectly perfect day, culminating in the most beautiful liquid gold, gasp-out-loud sunset (we were cresting on a hill with a view of the shimmering and calm Pacific ocean) I've ever seen in my life—and I didn't even reach for my camera. Imagine that. The moment in my heart is ineradicable.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Nature is a collective idea, and, though its essence exists in each individual of the species, can never in its perfection inhabit a single object." —Henry Fuseli
Thanks for visiting! I'm glad to be back, and so excited about the next big news. You'll love it.
EDIT: All kinds of formatting with the new Typepad made things difficult. Tried to clean things up, but oh, dear. And oh, well.