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This Sunday: A Conversation with Dan Barber and Fred Rutberg | A benefit for Berkshire Grown

This Sunday: A Conversation with Dan Barber and Fred Rutberg | A benefit for Berkshire Grown

image courtesy of Berkshire Grown

image courtesy of Berkshire Grown

Chef Dan Barber has long been changemaker, innovator and supporter of sustainable agriculture in the United States and beyond. This Sunday, he’ll be speaking on topics a little closer to home.  

The distinguished chef and writer will be speaking with Fred Rutberg, publisher of The Berkshire Eagle. “Flavor: A Brunch and Conversation” will take place at a private farm in Sheffield on Sunday, August 18, from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM.

A fundraiser for Berkshire Grown, the two will discuss the importance of building community and how eating local food plays a vital role. 

Barber is the award-winning chef and co-owner of Blue Hill restaurant in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York, and author of The Third Plate(May 2014, The Penguin Press). A long-time visitor to the Berkshires, Barber started coming to the region as a youth, spending summers with his grandmother on the family farm, Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington. 

His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in The New York Times, along with many other publications. 

Rutburg, a retired district court judge from Stockbridge, along with several local businessmen, purchased The Berkshire Eaglein 2016, bringing the paper’s ownership back into local hands for the first time in 21 years.

According to Berkshire Grown’s Executive Director Margaret Moulton, the idea for the event began a few weeks ago Rutberg took a group of friends to dinner at Barber’s restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  

After their meal, he visited with Barber in the kitchen. They spoke about issues related to regional agriculture and the importance of a vibrant local community. Rutburg discussed the current media landscape, and he and his team’s efforts at The Berkshire Eagle to revive local coverage of the community in their paper.

This struck a chord with Barber. One of his newest ventures, Row 7 Seed Company, is centered around about breeding seeds for intensity in flavor, with a commitment to nutrition, the environment and a sensitivity to the differing growing demands in different regions across the country. 

When Berkshire Grown was in the planning phases of the fundraiser, Moulton and team asked who Barber might want to join him in conversation about the region. For Barber, Rutburg was a natural choice. 

The brunch will be catered by SoMA Catering, with much of the menu sourced from local farmers and food producers.

For Moulton, the pairing for this event is in line with Berkshire Grown’s mission. Barber has been a long-time supporter of the organization, since speaking at a Berkshire Grown in 2007. 

“Dan is all about local – supporting farmers to grow crops suited to their land and climate and encouraging chefs to pay attention to what their farmers can provide,” says Moulton. “It’s the back-and-forth of the local conversation that grabs the hearts of these two men, and they are working to support local in all aspects of the word.”

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Event details: 
“Flavor: A Brunch and Conversation,” catered by SoMA Catering
A benefit for Berkshire Grown,
Sunday, August 18, from 11 AM – 1 PM, in Sheffield, MA. 
Pricing: Berkshire Grown members: $125, general public: $150. 
Tickets can be purchased at www.berkshiregrown.org/conversationwithdanbarber

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