by Norma Poindexter

Spending an invigorating afternoon touring Blue Hill’s bucolic farm and amazing innovation labs, ready to delve into an entertaining, family-style evening with Dan Barber at his infamous, two-star Michelin restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, near Pocantico Hills, New York. Guided by an expert Stone Barns’ farmer and skilled Blue Hill chef, you’ve explored eighty picturesque, rolling acres of growing spaces and lush pastures. You’ve inspected the fascinating Innovation Lab at The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to discover the connection between healthy soil and delicious food at the research and development area, dedicated to the betterment of milling, baking, butchery, preservation, arts, and ecology. An educational, non-profit organization, The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture creates and perpetuates the critical, national conversation for healthy and sustainable food systems surrounded by strong food cultures, and proudly showcases Chef Barber’s brilliant farm-to-table concept and initiatives near Tarrytown, New York.

How are Blue Hill’s amazing food initiatives and current solutions especially different? For the last year, the Pandemic pushed the food system to beg for greater innovation and deepened space for interdisciplinary collaboration, and brought more urgency to the mission to build a food culture based in ecological farming, eating, and community. Blue Hill’s solution to the Pandemic’s push is a renewed focus on their ground-breaking food innovation, and an accelerated collaboration with complex, flavorful traditions that compose American foodscapes. A multitude of talented Blue Hill chefs, guest chefs and farmers remain devotedly committed to these fortified efforts, each chef deeply-rooted in strong connections to agriculture and cuisines they’ll gladly share at Blue Hill. For starters, these chefs couple with sixty-four local farms, to store, preserve, and ferment 30% of the winter menu purchased in October and November; staunchly support hard-working, day fishermen off Long Island that represent 80% of the seafood purchases; and team with dedicated, vegetable and grain breeders to develop and champion varieties with lower growth inputs and less energy requirements for production. At the restaurant, local farmers and boundary-shattering chefs combine with the support of rotating, resident chefs from the new Chef-in-Residency program, pushing the frontiers of sustainable farming and eating. Each chef brings their own unique stories and culinary perspectives to the stove as they interpret the ingredients of this bountiful farm and region.

And now to the extraordinary, farm-to-table feast at this signature, world-class restaurant. As the only Michelin-awarded restaurant in Westchester County, the Blue Hill at Stone Barns offers three ways to indulge in the tremendous, seasonal delights on the highly creative, prix-fixe menu: mouth-watering, family-style dinners, reservable tastings, and casual, country lunches. With giant platters filled with the most tasty, fresh edibles of Hudson Valley on our table, we appreciatively gaze out the window at the expansive fields that produced this appetizing food on our plate. Enjoy the rich specialties of the house: unique, red pepper eggs which get their color from red chili peppers in the chicken feed, hearty root vegetables aged in beef tallow, and yummy wholewheat chocolate-cherry bread with milk jam. At once joyful, entertaining, and educational, the scrumptious, pre-selected dinner menus served family-style give us more time to share the casual feasting experience with our small group.

All of this fantastic food evolution in a little more than 17 years. Bolstered with Blue Hill’s phenomenal food lab-to-table concept since 2004, Blue Hill passionately leads the American farm-to-table movement and consistently produces one of the most recognized, incredible, interactive dining experiences in the world. Blue Hill at Stone Barns’ Michelin-starred sibling, Blue Hill Restaurant in Greenwich Village, recently reopened as a pop-up called Family Meal. Barber just introduced new, hands-on initiatives for visitors at Blue Hill at Stone Barns’ reopening: enriching, teaching lessons in the greenhouse, farm, butchery, and cooking areas. At all locations, Chef Barber doesn’t just work to source better ingredients from farmers: he studies our complex food system and innovatively changes what farmers do to grow more delicious produce for his fabulous restaurants. Believing that chefs and their culinary teams can play seminal roles in teaching people how to eat so there’s minimal food waste, Chef Barber brilliantly and deliciously perpetuates sustainability. Starting October 7 th , 2021, Blue Hill Stone Barns’ reopening celebrates his genius again.

Blue Hill at Stone Barn | 630 Bedford Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591 | +1..914.366.9600
Images courtesy of Blue Hill at Stone Barn |

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