Home Food and Drink Chef Dan Barber Wants to Create Tastier Vegetables by Breeding Flavor-optimized Seeds

Chef Dan Barber Wants to Create Tastier Vegetables by Breeding Flavor-optimized Seeds

Dan Barber is one in all the food industry’s most vocal advocates for property uptake and preparation. The James Beard victory cook of recent York’s storied Blue Hill at Stone Barns is currently excavation even deeper into agriculture, specializing in the seed. On weekday morning, Barber launched Row seven, a corporation which will bring flavor-optimized seed varieties to a large-scale market, collaborating with chefs, breeders and growers to concoct delicious, good-for-the-earth seeds. To Barber, the intersection of flavor and property is a noticeable one.

“Good flavor and dynamical the food system go hand in hand,” Barber tells Food & Wine. “When you decide on for flavor from the terribly starting, you’re conjointly choosing for qualities like nutrition. And you’re choosing for soil health, too, as a result of you’re seeking out varieties that thrive below organic conditions — the systems that manufacture the foremost delicious food. It seems being greedy permanently food may be a pretty great way to boost our diets and our landscapes.”

The idea, then, is to optimize seeds for flavor and also the surroundings, long before a cook conceives of a dish or a farmer harvests a crop. All of the Row seven seeds area unit 100 percent certified organic and non-GMO. “These ways produce stronger, additional reisilient plants, capable of thriving while not artificial chemicals,” reads the company’s web site. “Stronger plants area unit tastier plants.”

Row seven simply declared its initial seven varieties. The Badger Flame Beet ($3.50 for one hundred seeds) may be a gentle, sweet “flame-colored beet” that’s “so sensible it may be consumed raw.” Robin’s Koginut Squash ($4.95 for twelve seeds) may be a sweet pumpkin with a “built-in matureness indicator to make sure harvest at peak flavor.” Habanada Pepper ($3.50 for twenty seeds) offers each floral and melon notes, with none heat. The Upstate Abundance Potato ($9.95 for one pound) is buttery, sans butter.

The thought occurred to Barber many years agone whereas within the room at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Michael Mazourek, a squash stockman from Cornell University, came back to the room to mention how-do-you-do.

“There was an enormous butternut squash on the homework station, and that i half-jokingly asked him if it had been potential to breed a butternut squash that really tastes sensible — no sugar needed,” Barber tells F&W. “Michael told American state it had been the primary time that somebody had asked him to breed for flavor. For me, as a chef, there’s a before and subsequently moment. i spotted that breeders area unit the individuals writing the initial formula for our food — which formula decides specifically what AN ingredient brings to the table.”

Barber spent years experimenting within the room and field to formalize the concept and work out how to bring chefs and breeders along “to write recipes from the bottom up.”

The cook is joined by fellow founders Mazourek and Matthew Goldfarb, AN organic seed sodbuster within the Finger Lakes.


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