Born: Oct. 2, 1969 in New York, N.Y.
Grew up: New York, N.Y.
Culinary School: French Culinary Institute
Experience: Campanile and La Brea Bakery, Los Angeles, Calif.; Bouley, Manhattan; Michel Rostang, Paris, France.
Cooking style or philosophy: I’m not Luddite in my affections or practices. While I support slow, artisanal cooking, I try to do it in a thoroughly modern context.
Why we chose him: Through his cooking and his writing, Barber has been the leader of the eat-local movement. And by opening Blue Hill at Stone Barns, he brought a world-class destination restaurant to the Hudson Valley.
How he keeps it fresh: I’ve been inspired on some recent trips to Spain—not just by great chefs, but by great farmers who are revolutionizing the way we think about agriculture.
Advice for the new chefs: Do you really want to do this?
Photo by Mark Vergari.