Anatomy of a Dish: Biodiversity
Farm-driven cuisine is a way of eating and cooking that respects what a farm needs to grow, raise or do to be healthy.
Anatomy of a Dish is a collaboration in which a Stone Barns farmer or staffer is paired with a Blue Hill chef to create a dish that embodies farm-driven cuisine and addresses a food-system challenge.
THE CHALLENGE: NURTURING BIODIVERSITY
Our agricultural system is facing a loss of biodiversity. Monoculture systems reliant on chemical inputs are draining our natural resources and depleting stores of organic matter in our soils. Biodiversity in the soil and in the farm ecosystem is a critical facet of resilient farming. Through practices like crop rotation and planting a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, we can build a soil structure rich in nutrients and microorganisms as well as create a resilient farm ecosystem.
THE SEASON: SUMMER
THE CHEF: CHUDAREE DEBHAKAM
Fish Entremet, Blue Hill at Stone Barns
THE FARMER: SHEPHALI PATEL
2015 Flower and Herb Apprentice, Stone Barns Center
THE DISH: A lattice of lemon verbena, geranium, Thai basil and mint made to be torched, allowing the smoke to infuse the peppers and envelop the eater in its aroma. It embodies the diverse herbs, flowers and pollinator-friendly plants that are part of a vibrant and healthy farm ecosystem.
Spiced and chilled three-pepper soup made with tomatoes confit, garlic, summer herbs and marigold petals poured inside a cupid bell pepper, made to eat whole. It signifies how diversity creates balanced soil and flavor, while highlighting the heat and taste of summer itself.
THE TAKEAWAY: Eat foods that reflect the diversity of what farmers grow, year round. Next time you go to the farmers’ market, buy several varieties of produce from one farmer, not just the star ingredient of the season.