Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture
The beautiful compound of stone buildings 30 miles north of New York City was built as a private dairy by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the 1930’s. “Mr. Rockefeller didn’t like the idea of pasteurized milk,” says Blue Hill vice president Irene Hamburger. Since 2004, this complex of carefully restored historic barns, and much of the surrounding 80-acre farm, has been open to the public. Many of the 200 crops are sold at the on-site farmers’ market three days a week; children can collect their own eggs; and adults can attend lectures by authors like Michael Pollan. “Our mission is to connect people back to food,” Hamburger says. The best connection of all can be found in the former cow barn, now the restaurant Blue Hill, which serves the farm’s naturally raised meat, poultry, and produce as prepared by chef Dan Barber. According to Laureen Barber, whose husband is Dan’s brother, David Barber–all three are Blue Hill co-owners–the barn looks much as it did back in the 1930’s, though they removed a low ceiling to expose dramatic steel trusses, and adjusted the level of the windows that face the pasture “because they were at cow height.”
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.