Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

In Eater, writer Meghan McCarron takes a long, hard look at Blue Hill @ Stone Barns and its associated farm...


chromedome
 Share

Recommended Posts

There's a lot here to chew on, if you'll forgive the figure of speech. Linking only to Part One, as there are internal links to the second and third articles.

 

https://www.eater.com/22996588/blue-hill-stone-barns-dan-barber-restaurant-work-environment-ingredients

 

 

  • Thanks 1

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty damning if even half true (which I suspect it is about right).

 

I'm not sure his vision was achievable on the scale  he tried to execute it.  You might pull off utopian cooking on a small scale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regardless of the truth or perspective of the matter, what we see in this article is not unexpected, and is what happens when chefs are held up as celebrities that they then need to maintain or grow their image. To me there are two threads that I've been considering. First, is the connection to Laura Reily's Farm to Fable exposé which has been a singularly motivating source for my own work. Second, is how Eater is taking on these type of stories - see Vespertine's punch.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@gfron1 thanks for your links and perspective as a chef who honorably sources and tells truthful origin stories not fantastical promo.

 

I read the articles yesterday morning and did not post though I had a lot of thoughts.

 

My first reaction was "messy over ambitious". When you put everything but the kitchen sunk into the pot it gives nobody a forward looking perspective. That last bit as a "clever" summation about Barber saying he tells stories not facts was overly cute. 

 

I'll get Vespertine out of the way first - I can't abide the architect or the developer and the whole way it played out was no surprise. Those types flock together The toxic culture described needs to be addressed separately and not with policy statements but actual, by example, on the ground change. 

 

The link to Laura Reily is in my opinion the crux of the false sourcing scenario. Once that type of behavior is exposed it horridly paints good people with the same liar's brush. Yes as the articles noted - farming is HARD and guarantees are few. Mother Nature is a variable and often hard taskmaster. Not all sweetness and light. Liars screw it up for the honest people. The change to sustainable practice is a process not a whoopee look at our clever plan thing. Plus we have existing chains of culture that are inclusive. Like https://www.southernfoodways.org/

 

Which leads to the difficult intersection of non-profits, fundraising, and associations with profit based businesses. Money can be a poison. I've seen the drama working for a non profit when the Mission Statement gets completely eclipsed by fundraising Yes you have to kiss-ass the big donors and events can overshadow education & mentoring. It is hard to draw the lines and it takes strong OUTSIDE non invested trustees and directors to be objective.

Edited by heidih (log)
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read the first two installments and have mixed reactions. 

 

Obviously any sort of assault or harassment is wrong, his anger problem sounds like a nightmare, and blaming it on the French system is BS. 

 

OTOH, disillusioned 20-somethings?  Shocking! 🙄 You were all excited but it turned out to be hard work with flawed people who hadn't actually figured it all out yet?  Pushing to constantly innovate was stressful, didn't always work, and took a lot of time?  Yes, maybe they took it too far.  Overtime is one thing, OT while getting screamed at would suck.

 

I think Eater gets a little nit-pick-y.  The pastry chef bought purees?  I probably would have too.  Apples and pears and squash are all fun in the early fall but sooo boring by January, a little passion fruit or Meyer lemon is welcome.   I wonder if they were allowed to use chocolate. 

 

And the beet thing?  Whatever. 

 

Do they have to be 100%?  Does a good story still benefit the mission?  I think there is some room for leeway.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

Do they have to be 100%?  Does a good story still benefit the mission?  I think there is some room for leeway.

 

Unfortunately, this is what food "journalism" has become.

 

By the way, if anyone doesn't know it (and I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule...ahem...like at Rob's), working in a busy restaurant kitchen sucks is really fucking hard work. It's not as if you're gonna start off being Eric Ripert, working the dining room in his clean whites (I love eric, fwiw).

  • Like 2

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...