The plot is that the food we eat today is a far cry from the nutritious food our ancestors ate. And that one chef, Dan Barber, is trying to get people to realize that before it’s too late to fix it.


Wow, what a read. I mean Dan Barber, celebrity chef turned real food disciple, is no Michael Pollan, but he comes close. Really close. The Third Plate, named for an exercise in which Barber was asked to imagine the future of food in three plates, examines what we eat from the soil, the sea, the land, and the sea. His third plate imagined that we had discovered how to make our food sustainable again, and that we were all reaping the benefits.

The book flies from that premise. Barber, while admitting that he’s no expert and learning at the same time we are, takes us on a journey around the world to find those farmers, artisans, and cooks who are doing things right. The book is full of characters, science, and a mission, and it works. It works so well. And it’s fascinating.


If you’re looking to nerd out about food, this is the book for you.