Chef, newspaper publisher to talk eating and reading local

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SHEFFIELD — A world-renowned chef and writer with ties to the Berkshires will speak this weekend to the importance of building community and how eating local food plays a vital role.

Dan Barber, whose family-run Blue Hill Farm is located in Monterey, will have a discussion about supporting regional agriculture with Fredric D. Rutberg, president and publisher of The Berkshire Eagle, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at a private farm in Sheffield.

Tickets for "Flavor: a Brunch and Conversation," hosted by Berkshire Grown, can be purchased at BerkshireGrown.org/ConversationWithDanBarber.

Berkshire Grown supports and promotes local agriculture through events, workshops, promotions, advocacy, and education highlighting locally grown and produced food.

Barber will discuss the importance of supporting a local community, the vital role that healthy food systems plays in local economies, and about the forces at work for growing a locally focused newspaper.

He is the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, N.Y., a high-end farm-to-table restaurant serving tasting menus in a refurbished barn on gorgeous grounds, according to the restaurant's website.

Berkshire Grown points to Barber's work cultivating conversations around the world about where food comes from, how it is prepared and what it tastes like, which always circle back to the concept of eating local.

In a recent opinion piece in The New York Times, Barber wrote: "flavor, long under siege, is having its moment as consumers abandon the processed foods of the center aisle in search of local and organic ingredients. Cooks have known forever that this kind of food tastes better; scientists are confirming that it's better for the earth, too."

Barber's accolades include being named the best chef in New York City and the country's outstanding chef, both honors in 2009. That year, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Also, Barber was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

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