For example, employees told Eater that they sometimes serve butter as “the famous Blue Hill butter,” named after Blue Hill Farm, the Barber family’s farm and after which his restaurant is named. But this butter was often made at least in part from dairy products from a local farm called Ronnybrook. The restaurant referred to the dairy-based butter of Blue Hill Farm’s cow as “one udder” butter but according to Eater, this butter was often so poorly supplied that it was largely reserved for VIPs. On nights when too many VIPs were in the dining room, they also sometimes received butter made from Ronnybrook cream, according to Eater. Blue Hill sent a 1,000-word statement to Eater about butter, saying – among many other things – that if they misrepresented the butter, it would be a “rare unintentional mistake.”
Many chefs also said that due to the complex menu, sometimes dishes containing animal products such as fresh cream or chicken broth are included in the vegetarian or vegan tasting menu. The staff claimed that when a chef confronted a barber about the practice, he said, “Try to write an entire menu on the spot to see if you can do a better job.” Blue Hill has repeatedly denied doing so, adding that vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians often order dishes outside of their diet after hearing them described to their colleagues.
The prestigious Stone Barns ranch program had a sexist environment, many former employees claim.
Several former female employees told Eater that they encountered a “boys’ club” with farm manager Jack Algiere at the helm. One female employee alleged that she was harassed by her male colleagues, such as presenting rodent extermination as a bonding activity. Female employees complained about the conditions, and in 2019, some campaigned to write letters to direct their concerns to Stone Barnes’ leadership after they felt they were not being listened to; Two people resigned in protest. A spokesperson for Stone Barnes denied the allegations.
Workers at the Stone Barns farm alleged unsafe working conditions and exhaustion.
Some of the former Stone Barns interns, who each year participate in a prestigious nine-month fellowship in organic and renewable farming, told Eater that Algiere asked them to do tasks they felt were unsafe, such as standing on the roof of the greenhouse without a harness or otherwise. safety equipments. According to an apprentice, Algiere responded to safety concerns by saying that work is essential to being a farmer. Stone Barns responded that Algiere had not been moved accurately and insisted the greenhouse re-roofing procedure was safe, saying that “no injuries have been reported at Stone Barns for this operation and no one has been forced to work on the roof against their will.”
Staff told Eater that conditions on the farm worsened in 2018, after the farm began managing 350 acres of pasture at the Rockefeller State Park Reserve in Mount Pleasant, New York. When the pandemic hit and the apprenticeship program ended, some members of the livestock team quit. The staff claimed they were overworked, overworked, and the management was not receptive to the concerns.
Workers at the Stone Barns farm alleged unnecessary animal suffering and food waste.
Stone Barns’ image is built as a pioneer in humane and sustainable practices, but some farmers claim that not all practices were consistent with the purported mission. Fiona Harrar, who ran the cattle in 2016 and 2017, told Eater that Algiere has done things like turn down her request to help protect the pigs from the summer heat; Roughly 30 pigs ended up on antibiotics after they got sick. Harar tells Eater: “To be asked every day to take care of animals in a way that I know is less than they deserve, is like a betrayal of who I am as a farmer.” Seri Gussman, an apprentice in ranchering under Harar, told Eater that Algiere saw animals “as a tool, not an object,” a view conveyed by many former farmers about how Algiere saw the relationship between land and livestock. In response, Stone Barnes said it prioritizes “animal health and landscape health on an equal footing,” and that it “provides [animal] Care with minimal input.”
The restaurant is offering tasting menus again with Dan Barber at the helm—more expensive than ever.
Blue Hill launched a bivouac program in 2021 with a variety of rotating chefs, and now that’s over. In Blue Hill’s latest iteration as a restaurant (again), Barber claims staff schedules are less punishing than they have been in the past, and that the restaurant spends a greater portion of its time researching and developing Stone Barns. Dinner on Blue Hill now begins with a guided tour of the property by chefs and farmers, and in a podcast taping earlier this year, Barber described how Stone Barns pays for Blue Hill “to do this research and development and to run these educational programs for the public, for partners, and for disadvantaged communities that are involved in every This research and education.” While dinner at the restaurant cost $258 per person, it now costs between $358 and $398.
Serena Day contributed to this report.
see the parts OneAnd the twoAnd the three From the eater investigations.