The Third Plate ($29.95) is chef Dan Barber’s extraordinary vision for a new future of American eating. After more than a decade spent investigating farming communities around the world in pursuit of singular flavor, Barber finally concluded that—for the sake of our food, our health, and the future of the land America’s cuisine required a radical transformation.
Traditionally, Americans have dined on the “first plate,” a classic meal centered on meat with few vegetables. Thanks to the burgeoning farm-to-table movement, many people have begun eating from the “second plate,” the new ideal of organic, grass-fed meats and local vegetables. But neither model, Barber shows, supports the long-term productivity of the land. Instead, he calls for a “third plate,” a new pattern of eating rooted in cooking with and celebrating the whole farm—an integrated system of vegetable, grain, and livestock production.
The Third Plate is truly a publishing event: a monumental work of personal insight and global analysis that definitively remakes the understanding of nutrition, agriculture, and taste for the twenty-first century. Barber charts a bright path forward for eaters and chefs alike, daring everyone to imagine a future for our national cuisine that is as sustainable as it is delicious.
Dan Barber is the executive chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, Gourmet, The Nation, Saveur, and Food & Wine Magazine. Barber has received the James Beard awards for Best Chef: New York City (2006) and for Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.