Inspiration From Blue Hill
by The Culinistas
Last month, our Co-Founder, Jill and Culinary Director, Kristina took a trip to Blue Hill at Stone Barns to eat, learn, and gain inspiration for our own recipes. The week after their trip, Blue Hill gained another Michelin star, deeming it “worth a detour” thanks to Dan Barber’s dedication to research and innovative stamina. Below are our team’s biggest takeaways and sources of inspiration from their visit.
The best part about visiting Stone Barns (the working farm and agricultural research center adjacent to Blue Hill) is that you have free range to roam. Much of our day leading up to the meal was spent wandering around the greenhouse, apiary, and many veg patches on the property.
This field of carrot tops waving in the wind is major garnish inspo!
Seeing berried asparagus bushes was really eye opening. Typically you think of asparagus as a one shoot veg that wraps around trees when left unharvested. But you never think about what happens when it has room to keep blooming.
One of our favorite spices is sumac, (we even include it in our clients spice sets) so eating fresh berries was definitely a highlight.
Then came the meal. We were so tactile all day, wandering around the farm and tasting, and that really carried itself into the meal. All of our vegetable courses were served without utensils.
One of our core culinary tenets is total utilization of ingredients, and it was clear from the beginning that Blue Hill believes the same. The dish embodied this the most: a sunflower “marrow” and petal flatbread. The sunflower stalk was sliced lengthwise like a bone, and sunflower butter innards were served within. The texture was just like marrow: gelatinous, fatty, salty, and tart! This was served with a small sunflower flatbread, complete with petals pressed and grilled on top. We scooped up the marrow and ate it with the bread. Perfection!
The striped bass sashimi is another example of total utilization as it was served on a dried and smoked bass carcass, which helped season the fish.
Here, squash and beets were dry aged and sliced like pieces of meat. This was served with a rose hip sauce (their version of A1 steak sauce) and a small portion of meat. This flips the idea of a traditional main course, with a veg main and a side of meat.
Blue Hill remains one of the visionary culinary institutions of this generation, a leader when it comes to changing the conversation about our food systems and what we can do to protect them. It remains a constant source of inspiration to us, and it can to you as well! A day trip from NYC is do-able, hop on a Metro North from Grand Central to Tarrytown. Time passes quickly there among the kohlrabi and cows, so budget your time accordingly, and of course, taste, taste, taste!