Ruhlman Praises Barber As a Voice to Be Heeded

Dan Barber: seeing the big picture.
Dan Barber: seeing the big picture. Photo: Patrick McMullan

On his blog yesterday, Michael Ruhlman lamented the disappearance of a certain kind of chef. “The chef as inspiration, the one who points the way to the cool new stuff, the important stuff — once the only kind of visible chef we knew — that chef is getting harder to hear in an increasingly cacophonous food world.” Dan Barber of Blue Hill is one such chef, says Ruhlman. Barber “is proving to be one of the most important voices in the chef world, and I think we need to listen to him,” he writes. The proximate cause of Ruhlman’s admiration is Barber’s visionary op-ed piece in Sunday’s Times, dreaming of a future where all farms are small farms and agribusiness has passed away into the industrial age, where it belongs. Both the Times essay and Ruhlman’s treatment of it show that chefs still have it in them to do more than cook and preen on television.

Chef Voices [Ruhlman]